Today's Winter Classic 2012 at Citizens Bank Park has some unusual drama for an NHL game -- but Ilya Brzygalov does have a way with words. First, the start time of the contest between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers had to be pushed back from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. because of a sunny weather forecast. But then the Winter Classic became a captivating reality show, and it wasn't just captured by HBO cameras for the 24/7 series.
The drama happened on New Year's, one day before the big game. Reporters covering the Flyers practice asked Sergei Bobrovsky who was starting in the goal. They were told, It's very confidential. The coach, Peter Laviolette, had planned to announce it today, just before the game. On Sunday, he said there was no decision yet.
But Brzygalov, easily the star of HBO's 24/7 reality series because of his unique way with words that one journalist called hysterically bizarre rants, gave the secret away in an interview. Asked by reporters whether he would start, Brzygalov said, I have great news and even better news. OK, great news, I'm not playing tomorrow night. And good news, we have a chance to win the game tomorrow.
Bryzgalov may be the star of the show, but his play on the ice hasn't been stellar so far this season. He was traded to the Flyers this summer and quickly signed a nine-year $51 million contract. Today, he'll have a seat on the bench for one of the Flyers' biggest regular season games in history. The Flyers will start 23-year-old backup Sergei Bobrovsky, a second year player.
See the interview in the video below for the complete response: