After Six Game Absence, a Shaky Bryzgalov Returns Between the Pipes

December 28th, 2010 by Mark Brown Leave a reply »
With a rash of injuries hitting key NHL personnel, the Phoenix Coyotes are not immune.

First, dependable winger Taylor Pyatt was injuried during a fight at Pittsburgh Dec. 20 and remains out with an upper body injury; right winger Radim Vrbata also remains on the shelf with an upper body injury. Combined, they have scored 14 goals and accounted for 28 points.

More importantly, as far as the continuing fate of the Coyotes is concerned, was the absence of goal tender Ilya Bryzgalov, who is considered the cornerstone of the franchise. Nursing a lower body injury, Bryzgalov missed the five games in December and joined other NHL stars, including the Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary, the Sabres' leading scorer Derek Roy and Jason Spezza of Ottawa, on the injured list.

Jason LaBarbera filled in for Bryzgalov and went 2-2 with one tie. Bryzgalov returned Dec. 29 against Anaheim at home and showed his rust. It was not a particularly stellar return for Bryzgalov.

The Coyotes dropped a 3-1 decision to Anaheim before 14,032 at Arena. 

With the loss to the Ducks Dec. 28, Phoen ...

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