Ilya Bryzgalov won't play on Thursday night for the Philadelphia Flyers thanks to a chip fracture in his right foot, but the organization does not believe the injury to be all that serious.
"Ilya wasn't going to play on Thursday anyway, general manger Paul Holmgren said Tuesday afternoon. "We're going to just leave him back and continue to get his treatment. We don't think this is a serious injury.
"We're hoping that he'll be back on the ice practicing with the idea that he can play on the weekend. It's just going to be a little bit of pain management for Ilya. He feels OK today. In fact, he's going to come in and work out tomorrow and get treatment, and try to be ready to practice on Friday."
If you're to believe the general manager, Bryzgalov could be back in the crease by Saturday afternoon's home game vs. the Ottawa Senators. In the meantime, Sergei Bobrovsky will be in goal for the Flyers against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night at Air Canada Centre. Jason Bacashihua has been recalled from the Adirondack Phantoms and will serve as Bob's backup until Bryzgalov is ready to return to action.
It seems sensible to rest Bryzgalov for longer than necessary, even if he is ready to go come Saturday. According to Sports Club Stats, there's a 97 percent chance that the Flyers finish in either the No. 4 or No. 5 spots in the East -- a 90 percent chance they finish in fifth, seven percent chance for fourth, one percent chance for first and two percent chance for sixth.
Home-ice in the first round is important, but is it more important than the health of the Flyers' starting goaltender once the first round begins? I'd argue that it is not. Considering the chances are overwhelming that the Flyers play either the Rangers or Penguins in Round 1 regardless of what they're able to do, it seems smart to take it easy with Bryzgalov over the remainder of the regular season.
Below you can find the entire transcript for Paul Holmgren's conference call today. He also addressed Kimmo Timonen's injury, which he said is more of a precautionary maintenance thing than anything else. Timonen will not play Thursday and Marc-Andre Bourdon has been called up to fill in.
Q: Where on the foot is the chip fracture?
"You know what, I'm not sure."
Q: Do you think it would matter where the injury is as far as when you look at the prognosis?
"Right now, Ilya wasn't going to play on Thursday anyway. So we're going to just leave him back and continue to get his treatment. We don't think this is a serious injury. We're hoping that he'll be back on the ice practicing with the idea that he can play on the weekend. It's just going to be a little bit of pain management for Ilya. He feels OK today. In fact, he's going to come in and work out tomorrow and get treatment, and try to be ready to practice on Friday. Obviously when you're dealing with something like this, it might be too painful to skate on Friday, but we'll see.
He doesn't feel that bad today. We'll see how it is. It's not a thing that surgery is required, it's nothing like van Riemsdyk's broken foot or anything like that. It's a chip off a weight-bearing bone, and the doctor has said it'll be absorbed back into his system, the little chip that's in there, and there's no real risk here at all. It's just he's in a little bit of pain right now.
Some of you guys I think saw him last night limping around, but this happened in warmup. He wanted to play, we had it x-rayed after warmup with his skate on, and nothing showed... we x-rayed it again after the game, it didn't show... and the MRI revealed this small little chip in there. So we're dealing with it. We'll see how the next couple days go, but nobody's really concerned about this.
Q: Did the doctors say that it had more to do with pain management than anything?
Q: Was there any thought last night to not letting him play?
"We had the x-ray, Ilya wanted to play. To be honest with you, I knew what was going on, I watched the game, and I didn't see any issues. The goals they scored were good goals. The last one he wasn't paying attention when Matt had the bobble at the side of the net. The other goals were good goals that you can't really fault him on. I didn't have any issues with how he played the game and I don't think his foot was an issue during the game."
Q: Was the MRI done yesterday or today?
"It was done today."
Q: Are you looking for him to play this weekend?
"Yeah, it's going to be how it goes over the next couple days. Ilya wants to play, he feels like he'll be OK, but we'll just see how it goes. I think we'll have a better grasp on how he is tomorrow. He's going to get some treatment here tonight and again come in tomorrow and work out and get treatment done. So we'll have a better idea where we're at tomorrow and then probably more on Thursday and Friday.
As I said, nobody's really concerned. The doctors are not concerned, Jimmy McCrossin's not too concerned. He's a little sore right now. So we've gotta get some of the swelling out of there, and you do that with ice and ibuprofen or whatever, and go from there."
Q: He cannot make the trip to Toronto?
"We're not going to bring him on the trip. It just makes no sense."
Q: Will Michael Leighton be recalled?
"No, actually we're going to recall Jason Bacashihua tonight."
Q: Is Kimmo's injury one where you're going to need a call-up as well, or do you expect him to play?
"Kimmo's not going to play on Thursday. This is kind of a maintenance thing we had planned. Tonight we'll recall Marc-Andre Bourdon, and then we'll see where Lilja is. He could possibly play on Thursday but we're not sure. So we'll have seven defensemen there, and if Lilja can play, we'll probably make a decision on loaning Erik back or Marc-Andre."
Q: Is Kimmo's injury something you're going to have to maintenance through the playoffs?
"When Kimmo missed the time earlier, it was kind of a planned thing where we wanted to give him some rest and do some rehab. This is also part of the plan. It's just take this day off, he doesn't have to fly up, he doesn't have to play the game. He can rest and rehab and get ready to play on the weekend."
Q: Ilya said this happened in the warmup right before the game - did he say how it happened?
"He was hit. He was looking the other way when I think it was Jakub Voracek shot a puck from the side, and it hit him in an exposed part of his foot. So that's what happened."
Q: Are you concerned that the injury will throw him out of his rhythm?
"No, I don't think so. He's played a lot over the last little while here. He's missed days in practice and he hasn't lost his rhythm. Obviously the team didn't skate today, he probably won't skate tomorrow... maybe he can skate on Thursday and practice on Friday. I'm not worried about that.
Obviously there's a little bit of concern with the pain and the swelling, but Ilya's a tough kid, he wants to play, and we look forward to seeing him on the ice with the team at practice on Friday."