There's no question that the Philadelphia Flyers and the media that cover them have a tenuous relationship. That's partly true in every city with a media corps that does it's job, but more often than not in this town, it blows up to the point where it's a story. (And more often than not, it's the media making themselves the story.)
In short, players don't think the day-to-day media here are all that good at their jobs. This has come up time and time again in the last several years. Dan Carcillo talked about it in 2011 during his first interview after signing in Chicago:
Yeah. It's ridiculous. . . . If you lose, people look for excuses, and they nitpick. They make stories out of nothing. It's unfortunate. That's just the way it is. It's kind of their culture. People are kind of outspoken and rude.
Mike Richards talked about all of this just one month before he was traded in the summer of 2011, which we discussed in detail on these here Internet Pages back when Richards was still captain. And of course, it's happened more than a few times before with Mr. Ilya Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov has been here for two full seasons now, and it appears as though he's finally had enough. At his final interview with the media today, he completely blew up. The Courier-Post has the full transcript. Video and some excerpts below.
Not anymore. Not anymore. You guys just here to blame someone. You never look yourselves in the mirror, eh? You're always good. You never make the mistakes. Your articles are always perfect. In reality, what have you done for this city? If you ask yourself, what have you done besides only criticize? Not much.
You need to be fair. You need to see the whole picture. It's easy to criticize. It's tough to find something good.
It's not like fair or unfair. We already had the conversation. It's just ridiculous. Just ridiculous. Sometimes you're reading and it's like, ‘Oh my God, who is this lunatic?' What are they writing about. It was nothing close to the truth or close to related to hockey. You read this and you're like, ‘Oh my God, I've got to deal with these people every day.' I've said it before, guys.
Before you're writing something you've got to read what you're writing. I'm two years here. I never saw it like good article with everything, like, ‘Flyers lose the game because this, this, this, this, this. They need to improve their game like this, this, this or this.' I never. That's what called professionalism. It's like, ‘OK, this reporter knows hockey. He knows what he talking about.'
Also, this question:
Are you fucking kidding me with that question? This is the kind of nonsense he has to put up with on a day-to-day basis. "Do you feel like you've been a professional?" What a joke.
Bryzgalov makes a lot of good points here. No, he wasn't good this season, and yes, he's a well-paid player and deserves some extra heat because of his massive contract.
But you know the state of this team right now, particularly on defense. The defense wasn't good coming into the year, let alone after all of the injuries they faced. Add that to the regression of a number of scoring forwards and a cold stretch on special teams for the year's first 20 games and the playoffs were at best a hope this year. No goalie would have carried this team to the postseason, and I truly don't think this is even a debatable position.
The goaltending wasn't good but it was not the biggest problem facing this team. Not even close. I'm comfortable labeling that statement as fact.
The Flyers' struggles this season were not rooted in goaltending, but how many people in the hockey world -- educated people in the hockey world, I might add -- believe that Ilya Bryzgalov is the biggest problem here? Ask a random sample of 100 hockey fans and I bet a majority tell you goaltending is the chief issue. Probably an overwhelming majority.
It's pretty clear that Ilya Bryzgalov blames the media for that. Do you?