Interesting story out of Phoenix today. According to Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett, Ilya Bryzgalov was distracted in the playoffs last year over rumors that the team was potentially relocating to Winnipeg. Via AZCentral.com:
"(Bryzgalov) walked in the coaches' dressing room about two and a-half before the first playoff game and said, 'What's up, coach? We moving?' and that turned into a big distraction," Tippett said.
"In the end, something that was thrown out there by the media, but like I said last year, it was interesting how it comes out two and a half before the first playoff game."
His response to Bryzgalov: "Bryz, think about the game."
As you'll recall, Bryzgalov was absolutely horrible in the first-round playoff loss, a sweep at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. In fact, given how reliant the team was on their goalie last year, you could make the argument that Bryzgalov's poor play was the reason the Wings so easily walked over the Coyotes in the first round.
I don't really know what to think of this. One one hand, it's clearly not good that he was so easily distracted. On the other hand, it's a good thing that there's more to his poor play in the playoffs last year than "Well, he was just bad."
H/T: Puck Daddy