Ilya Bryzgalov made his KHL debut for CSKA Moscow on Thursday afternoon, and while he may not be wearing orange and black, he did face some of the same troubles we all lived through last season. Suddenly, hockey fans in Moscow and Philadelphia have something in common.
Bryz stopped 26 of 30 shots in the loss to Traktor earlier today. He didn't have much of a shot at an absolutely beautiful game-winning goal by Andrei Popov with less than two minutes to go in the hockey game. His defense definitely left him a bit out to dry on this one and Popov somehow threw the puck backhanded into the back of the net.
Though not to blame for that goal, Bryz's overall performance seemed shaky -- a bit positionally awkward. It's just one game, of course, and the rest of the league has been at it for weeks while he was just making his season debut. Hopefully that's a big reason for the struggles, but Bryzgalov didn't look that comfortable in the net during the 15 or 20 combined minutes I had a chance to watch the game.
CSKA's Alex Radulov -- yes, of Nashville fame -- went a bit off the handle following the Popov goal. He was given a two-minute minor for slashing at the 18:54 mark of the third period and wasn't happy with the call. He pushed one of the officials and was given a 10 minute misconduct and a game misconduct for the infraction.
The CSKA roster is pretty loaded in front of Bryz, at least on offense. Pavel Datsyuk and Mikhail Grabovski have joined Bryzgalov and Radulov to make the team perhaps the most star-studded in the KHL. They're back in action Saturday against Avtomobilist.