SovetskiySport article about Bryzgalov’s camp for young goalies in Togliatti, Russia
I would like to offer you the SovetskiySport article about Bryzgalov’s camp for young goalies in Togliatti, Russia. As always, I kept as close to the original style as possible. (Also, I am a huge Mike Richards’ fan, but I could not help to notice that Bryz wears Flyers cap during off season in Russia….)
Hey goalie, welcome to the camp.
A few boys from Togliatti and Kazan were probably the happiest people in the world last weekend. All of the boys are future goaltenders. Nobody knows if they ever become future Tretjaks, Hasheks or Bryzgalovs. But they will sure remember a few summer classes for the rest of their lives. The Bryzgalov’s school of goalkeepers opened last weekend in Togliatti.
“Iliya is like Kalashnikov’s machine gun”.
“Children are the most precious of what we have- says Iliya- and we have to try to pass onto them our skills. So that they can represent our motherland with dignity.
The emblem of the new school is a goalkeeper with large wings. “That’s right, - say the representatives from the “Megaphone”, which organized the camp jointly with Bryzgalov- A goalkeeper is the guardian angel for the team.”
Bryzgalov is taking the questions form the press… Of course, he is glad that he succeeded in realization of the 5 year old dream; of course, he would love to start master level classes in other Russian cities; of course, he would love to have more children in camp. There are only 12 of them for right now. It's an optimal number in Bryzgalov opinion. Otherwise, he would not be able to pay personal attention to each of them.
Everything looks like school, only the teacher wears skates, purple jersey and orange Philadelphia Flyers cap.
Speeches, confetti, are over and the work starts. Alexander Konovalov, Bryzgalov’s first coach leaves the ice in a hurry not to interfere with the camp activities.
“We passed equipment from generation to generation”- says Konovalov-“When Iliya first came, he stood modestly by the board and looked toward the net. I asked: “Would you like to be a goalie?” He replied yes and I gave him old equipment. It was too big, we mended it a bit. And that’s how it all started. It was immediately evident that the kid was very talented. Character? I told him sometimes: “Iliya, you must be more flexible.” No, not him. He is like Kalashnikov machine gun- fires straight what he thinks
. “May I run for some juice for you?”
“Guys, let’s put nets in place!”- shouts Iliya. But the boys are still in disbelief that Bryzgalov would be teaching them soon. The Stanley Cup winner put nets in place himself; then splits the boys in 4 teams and the work starts.
“Push off stronger! Push off is the most important in this drill. Now, that’s just great! Good work!” And it seems that a boy who was just praised is ready to fly off the ice.
If necessary, Bryzgalov will get into the net himself. The drills are really hard. For example, 2 skaters pass to each other in front of the net tearing a goalie apart. How is it possible to react to that? Evidently, it is possible. Iliya shows the way and a goalkeeper robs a shooter - beautiful save.
Iliya is leveled with the boys, and can be critical. “You are sitting down, heh? May I run for some juice for you?”
Two hours just fly by.
“Let’s work for 15 minutes more, and then play a little scrimmage”. Goalies vs. forwards. Each goalie will face 2 penalty shots. The forwards bet to score at least 7 goals, but lost the bet. Bryzgalov’s students let in just 3 goals.
Bryzgalov agreed to reminisce about his childhood on Saturday and to show the correspondent the “places of interest”.
“My first rink may not exist anymore. It may be a parking lot by now.”- says Bryzgalov as we are driving behind an office building. “Here it is!”- Bryzgalov is happy. Two teenagers stopped drinking beer on the bleachers in astonishment.
“We played here, our 9th district against the 10th.” “Who won more often? Strange question, I told you I played for the 9th.”
“Here I got my first injury. We had played with the ball; I blocked a shot and wanted to cover the ball, but they went for a rebound and split my forehead. We finished game and I went home. Mom saw the wound and took me to ER to stitch it up; and I was crying, because I was afraid of stitches.
“My heart is jumping right now. Nothing has changed here since my childhood. “
I will omit a description of Bryzgalov’s nostalgic visit to his high school.
Seems like hockey players in general do a lot more for charities than other athletes.
i disagree. pretty much every pro athlete does work for charity. you just hear about it more often from certain athletes than others. Some do it more than others obviously, but I would bet that they all do charity work
thats true, but at least we have more talent up front and at D (until kimmo/pronger decline)
Indeed, though I'm not sure the talent gap up front is very wide at all right now...unless Jagr goes as insane as some have predicted he will. I sure hope Kimmo gets his hip flexor worked out and Pronger's spine is willing to work with us for a couple seasons.