There were no bears, nor North Poles for Ilya Bryzgalov in his first taste of media scrutiny in Edmonton. Rick Mahorn Jersey . Despite reporters firing questions about the end of his tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers and previous comments comparing Edmontons weather to the North Pole, Bryzgalov wanted to focus on the positives after his first practice with the Oilers on Monday. "Its a Canadian city and people care about hockey," Bryzgalov told reporters. "It feels good to be back in the NHL." Taking to the ice with his new teammates wearing the number 80 on Monday, Bryzgalov stood in front of a scrum for a few minutes to meet the Edmonton media. The Oilers signed Bryzgalov to a one-year $2 million contract Nov. 8 after shedding payroll by dealing defenceman Ladislav Smid to the Flames. Edmonton finalized their plans to put Bryzgalov into their crease rotation by placing back-up goalie Jason LaBarbera on waivers on Monday. However, the Oilers are still sticking with plans to start Devan Dubnyk in net against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins would not commit to a timeline for Bryzgalov to take to the crease. "Im comfortable when hes comfortable," Eakins said. "A lot will have to do if [Dubnyk] can keep rolling like he is. Dubs is going lights out, Dubs gets the net." Bryzgalov bristled when asked if he plans to make the most of a second chance in the NHL after being bought-out by the Philadelphia Flyers. "I never lost a first chance," Bryzgalov told reporters, reminding them that hes only missed just over a months worth of the 2013-14 NHL season. With seven years remaining on a $51 million, nine-year contract he signed in 2011, the Flyers were forced to pay him two-thirds of the balance owed on his remaining term, $23 million. Bryzgalov quipped that he was able to make the most of his downtime while not attending an NHL training camp and even found some upside in the Flyers buyout. "Its out of my control if they decide to buy me out," he told reporters. "I just have to accept it and move on. I had a great time. I dont have much opportunity to spend time with my family. Had such a great, quality time. Usually its a two-month break, now I pretty much had five months I spent with my kids." Bryzgalov was loaned to the American Hockey Leagues Oklahoma City Barons on Nov. 9 for conditioning ahead of joining the Oilers. When asked about his short tenure with the Barons, Bryzgalov admitted to playing some catch-up. "The first game I felt a little bit clumsy," Bryzgalov said in reference to the five goals he surrendered in his Oklahoma City debut. He added he was "was not comfortable with lots of players skating back and forth in front". But he would also state that trying to improve should be part of any NHL career, saying "youve got to continue to prove yourself." Bryzgalov stopped 25 shots on Saturday in the Oklahoma City Barons 4-1 victory over the Abbotsford Heat. In two games with the Barons since signing with Edmonton, Bryzgalov surrendered six goals on 50 shots for a 3.03 goals-against average and a .880 save percentage. He did conclude the scrum on a positive note, however, stating: "Im glad we reached an agreement and Im happy to be here." In 425 career NHL games with the Flyers, Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes, Bryzgalov has posted a 208-149-45 career record with a .913 save percentage and a 2.55 goals-against average. He was named to the NHLs Second All-Star Team in 2009-10 and won the Stanley Cup in 2006-07 as a member of the Ducks. Henry Ellenson Jersey . Seth Smith hit a towering drive for a tying homer leading off the eighth and Chris Denorfia singled home two runs to give the Padres a 3-1 victory against the rival Dodgers in baseballs North American opener Sunday night. Avery Bradley Jersey . Donald Young lost in straight sets to Israels Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-0. Querrey, ranked No. 61, is the second-highest ranked American, ahead of Johnson (64). http://www.basketballpistonsauthority.com/andre-drummond-pistons-jersey-c-11/ . The 25-year-old native of Milford, Conn., has 18 points in 41 games this season. The five-foot-eight 166-pound centre also has 28 points (10-18) in 15 games with AHL Oklahoma City.TSNs Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the Spurs being back in the mix, the bench strength of the Raptors, the Pacers and Heat not being ready for prime time, the compete level of Kemba Walker and the Warriors coaching situation. 1. SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Have won 15 straight games and suddenly here they are again in the mix regarding the discussion of what teams can be in the Finals in June. Dont beat you ever with flash but man, oh man lots of substance when you talk about this team. Wednesday night against Denver, they had five players in double figures and had 30 assists on 43 field goals. Thats quite impressive. The commitment to the team and playing the game together is a principle that has served them well over the years and will make them a tough out in the playoffs. The sum is more important than the parts. 2. RAPTORS BENCH: Its pretty evident that in spite of the Raps being 6-5 in the absence of Patrick Patterson, they miss his presence big-time in a variety of ways. Hes a wonderful perimeter defender on screen and roll sequences, gets after it on the glass, defends in the post and can give you both scoring inside/out as well as intelligent team play on offence. He and Greivis Vasquez are the two major contributors off the bench and when you look at the Boston game Wednesday night with less than 10 points coming off the bench, its an area of concern to say the least as you prepare for the playoffs. Pattersons absence has clearly affected the defence as well with teams putting the Raptors in screen and roll scenarios and the nightly battles on the boards without one of your sturdier post guys. John Salmons has struggled of late and is a solid veteran player. When hes going good, this team has another gear. Getting Patterson back and healthy and an on-track Salmons will go a long way towards getting this team ready for the playoffs. Digging themselves early holes that they have to battle back from are an issue that has to be corrected along with tightening the screws again with the defence. They do that and Im confident that they can compete quite well in a first round series. 3. PACERS VS. HEAT: Watched the game Wednesday night and I must say I was underwhelmed with the quality of play. Yes, it had great playoff intensity but it appeared to me that both of these teams have needed a game like this for a while to get that next gear back in their playing style. Both looked like they need to work out some kinks in the final weeks with offensive flow/execution to be ready to roll in mid/late April. A long season combined with injuries, etc. have a way of messing up your chemistry and neither looked as fluid as when theyre at their best. The Raptors see both of them next week with the Houston Rockets sandwiched in between (what a week!) which will be a good test of their playoff readiness as the Heat have been able to knock off the Raptors this season three times while the Pacers are 2-1 and the Rockets won their game in Houston vs the Raps. The good teams start to takke that next step here in the final 10 games to get everything humming and in sync. Joe Dumars Jersey. Always fun to watch as teams gear up for the second season. 4. KEMBA WALKER (Bobcats): Al Jefferson (35 and 15) was awesome in the overtime win vs. the Nets Wednesday night. Coach Steve Clifford has done a terrific job with that team. Its about time the folks in Charlotte get behind their team and support them for a change; this is a team you can root for. Love Kemba - what a gamer, scoring 20 points and five rebounds along with 12 assists. There are certain guys that you just throw out the stats some night because they just play so hard and have amazing pride and competitive spirit and do whatever it takes to win. From his days at UConn to now, he personifies what it means to give it his all. Hes been in a tough situation there with a poor roster, shaky coaching and questionable management decisions and Im happy for him that some of the proper decisions have been made around him and things are coming together. This team has become fun to watch and Walker is the heart and soul of that. 5. BRIAN SCALABRINE (Warriors): Assistant coach gets demoted to the D-League by head coach Mark Jackson. This is right out of the book of Jason Kidd/Lawrence Frank differences that took place early in the season. Jackson was adamantly supportive of Kidds move in the fall with Frank and now he does the same thing. Ive been both an sssistant coach and a head coach and I always felt that loyalty to the boss was #1 and if you disagree, you do it behind closed doors and it never gets picked up by the players, media, etc. At the same time, its vital that the assistant coaches cant be Yes Men that have to supress their opinion as opposed to express their opinion. Healthy dialogue is important yet at the end of the day, the head coach makes the call and we all march together in unison. (Hes also got to be open to suggestions and not have all the answers.) Jason Kidd got past this controversy and has done a good job with the Nets and it will be significant for Jackson to get past this as well by the performance of the team. Expectations are high in the Bay Area and results will be needed. Never an easy situation for any coach to be in and I can relate to the feeling of both. Jackson has a healthy ego and high opinion of his coaching acumen which is good to a degree, yet its time to get this team to the next level and the playoffs will be a major stage for him and his team to show that they can do it. Hes got major potential to be an outstanding coach in this league for a long time and this is another of the many tests young coaches go through in their development. Youre paid to make the tough calls and many times you have to be ruthless in this results-oriented business because at the end of the day, it all falls back on you and your record. Jackson is nobodys fool and is as competitive as they come. Its his show - plain and simple. 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