Sergei Bobrovsky Just Needs to Play
A few days ago, I was interviewed by Columbus Blue Jackets digital content and community director Rob Mixer for a series of off-season blogs on the team’s improved goaltending situation. This was a great opportunity for me to drop some insight on everyone from Steve Mason to Anton Forsberg, and the series continued with some insights on Sergei Bobrovsky’s future in a Blue Jackets uniform.
Below is the introduction for the third installment in a series of goalie-related blogs. This one focuses on Bobrovsky’s potential, and how he should have a great opportunity to thrive due to more games played. A special thanks to Mixer and the BlueJackets.com for reaching out to The Goalie Guild for insights on their goaltenders!
Sergei Bobrovsky generated a lot of buzz when he came to North America after signing an entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. He was a baby-faced, young Russian goaltender who some thought could be “the answer” in goal for a club that seemed to be in a perpetual state of seeking goalies.
Four solid seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League (Russia) caught the eye of Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, and the three-year pact meant a kick-started NHL career in the City of Brotherly Love. Bobrovsky was just 21 years old and had never played a game on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, but an impressive training camp and injury to Michael Leighton meant “Bob” was headed straight into the deep end with no water wings.
But Bobrovsky was excellent. He was quickly one of the surprise stories in the NHL, winning 28 games in 2010-11 and posting a goals-against average of 2.59 along the way. Yet the Flyers took a different path during the postseason, starting Brian Boucher in the final four games of their first-round series.
The opportunity Bobrovsky earned in the regular season was slowly dwindling, and it became almost non-existent when Holmgren handed a nine-year contract to Ilya Bryzgalov a few months later. This past June, opportunity was reborn when Bobrovsky was traded to the Blue Jackets at the NHL Draft; he will compete for the No. 1 job in training camp, and according to pro goalie scout Justin Goldman, get what every goalie wants — a chance to play. [Click here to read the full article]