A full transcript of the Bryzgalov meltdown at practice today
That's not the biggest problem he has right now.
It can be certain that the team can't be happy with some of the things he says publicly.
In an interview today, not only did he announce he wasn't starting in the game, but he went off on a loopy rant that has to have people questioning how he is dealing with the pressure of playing in Philadelphia, his relationship with his coach, and the fact that he has, at least temporarily, been demoted.
Here is the entire transcript of the Bryzgalov interview. Read it as it happened and decide for yourself just how disconcerting this whole thing is.
How was it out there?
“The ice is great. I like it. Unbelievable.”
Was your family here to skate?
“No, they still sleeping. I just came (here) from the party last night. New Year’s is a big holiday in Russia. We just finished 7 a.m. I get breakfast and came over here.”
Are you playing tomorrow?
“I have great news and even better news. OK, great news: I’m not playing tomorrow night. Good news: we have a chance to win the game tomorrow.
Are you just joking?
“No, I’m not playing, guys. I’m telling you, definitely.”
Are you disappointed?
“Yes. I’m a human. I’m not made from steel, but it is what it is and I had a good practice again like yesterday and two days ago. We just keep moving forward and there are lots of games in front of us. Lots of hockey. I heard it was still the main goal in Philadelphia to win the Stanley Cup and prepare for this.”
What’s your mindset for tomorrow?
“Make sure I don’t forget early in the morning, my thermos. I’ll put some nice tea (in it) and enjoy the bench.”
What’s it going to be like playing in front of a big crowd tomorrow?
“I can’t tell you because I’m not going to play.”
What have you been working on with (goalie coach) Jeff Reese?
“Nothing new. Just working on technical things. That’s it.”
Is this especially disappointing because it’s the Winter Classic?
“Oh yeah, that’s the only one reason. If it was another (regular season) game, I might not be frustrated like that. Still it’s a special game, outside. It’s like you step on the ice and ‘Oh, man. This is cool, actually.’ But I have my thermos, guys, like I told you.”
How do you know you’re not playing?
“It was written down. Actually, my goalie coach, Jeff Reese, he told me I’m not playing. Is it a big deal or not guys?”
Did you talk to Laviolette about it?
“No, I didn’t see the reason why. He’s the head coach. He makes these decisions and he’s responsible for the results. I can understand. He probably wants to put the best lineup he’s got for (the game).”
What is your role with the team now?
“I don’t worry about it.”
But, your workload has decreased siginificantly from what you were used to in Phoenix.
“This is the life. Every team’s different. You have to adjust and see if it works. Maybe it’s not going work. Maybe I’m not going to feel well if I play a lot. Who knows?”
Have you Watched 24/7?
“Yeah, I saw a couple.”
Did they use one interview?
Was it the greatest interview you’ve ever given?
“Hey, guys, you should read my Russian interviews with what I said in Russia. I was an angel in this interview.”
Do you like the show?
“I think life is a show. Isn’t it?”
How does this fit into the show?
“This? This is a great opportunity. It’s a great hockey holiday and the people get to enjoy it. Players, fans, media. I don’t hear any bad thing about players or fans or stuff like that from you guys. Just positive.”
What’s it like skating outside?
“Great. Oh, yeah. I remember we played City (something in Russian) and we fought team-on-team. I was 15-years-old. Man. Fans were jumping over the boards and started fighting too. Oh man, it was a great show.”
Did you fight the fans?
“No, I fought the other player, the goalie. Even fans from the home team, they jumped over the boards and started fighting.
How many did you hurt?
“I don’t remember. I was 15. You know, it was like, somebody pulled a knife, they threw the sticks. It was nasty.”
Like a Prison fight?
“Yeah, five people died.”
Do you have any advice for young kids?
“Work hard and believe in themselves.”
Was your family here today?
“No, like I said, we just get to the bed 7 a.m. in the morning. What are you talking about? I got my breakfast and came here to the practice.”
Why no family?
“They’re sleeping. It’s the biggest holiday in Russia.”
What kept you out all night?
(mimicking a drunk voice) “What else keep the players out all night?”
Do you think the fans will be disappointed that you’re not playing?
“You have to ask the fans.”
What do you think?
“I don’t know. I don’t know. There is nothing to do tomorrow. Come to the game early and start asking the fans ‘What do you think about it?’ and they give you an honest answer.”
What is the difference between how you were in Phoenix and how you are here?
“I am who I am. We have no reporters in Phoenix. I was really busy there because I was playing every game and I didn’t have time to talk. Right now I have plenty of time.”
Do you enjoy this part of it.
“It’s good. You guys ask good questions and it’s fun. It’s good that we all have a sense of humor. It’s not what I heard about the media. You’re actually pretty cool guys.”
Did you finish any good books on the road?
“Yes, I finished Tolstoy, it’s called ‘Struggles in Life.’ Right now I’m reading about Rasputin. It’s good stuff, man. Good stuff.”
Is there anything you learned from that Tolstoy book that can translate to what you’re going through now?
“People change their minds because they think one way at some point in their lives because they thought there was hope and then they change and start thinking differently.”
Have you lost hope?
“Who me? No. This is just hockey. It’s just hockey. You remember what I said about the universe? Compare that to the problems here? Come on. If you think your life is bad, there are other people on the earth who have it even worse. Don’t worry, be happy.”
What kind of tea will you drink tomorrow?
“It’ll be Earl Gray probably. Lemon, lots of sugar. Sweet. I hope I have enough for the whole game. It’s supposed to be colder tomorrow so we’ll see. I’ll probably make sure I have enough towels. I always wear long underwear and I usually wear lingerie too… what have you guys gotten from this conversation? Basically nothing, right? People don’t care how I feel. They want a show. They want entertainment. You remember Rome right? Antique Rome, the Roman Empire? What did the people want? Gladiators and bread. That’s all they wanted. The crowd hasn’t changed. It’s still the same. It’s going to be the same in the future.”
Do you pay attention to what people say about you? Do you care?
“I don’t care about the people. I don’t pay attention to what the people say. As long as I am happy with my game, it doesn’t matter what the people say. People can say that I’m playing pretty good, but if I’m not happy with my game, then I’m not happy with my game.”
Are you happy with your game?
“You remember what I said after the Tampa game? I said ‘I was outstanding.’ Of course I’m not (happy). There are black stripes in my life right now. No my life, but my hockey career. But, you know, it can be forever, but sometimes it’s going to change.”