Bobrovsky baptism of fire, give it to him Now!
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10-08-2010, 12:50 PM
We don't need one!
Join Date: May 2010
Meltzer's musing today...methinks he's a bit too conservative on Bob but valid points. I hope he continues to earn starts up until my game next Sat vs these same Penguinos...
Peter Laviolette took a risk last night in starting rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky rather than making the safe move of giving the nod to veteran Brian Boucher. I have to admit that I probably would not have done that if I had been in Laviolette's shoes, but the coach came up smelling like a rose. Bobrovsky turned in a strong NHL debut in a high-pressure atmosphere. It doesn't get much tougher in the regular season than playing Pittsburgh in its brand new home building in front of an energized crowd.
The Russian netminder held the Flyers in the game through a slow start, and played a major part in the club's victory. You can't help but be impressed by Bobrovsky's athleticism, and perhaps the most heartening thing about him is that he's very eager to receive coaching to continue to improve. His potential as an NHL goalie is obvious.
But before we all get too carried away with proclaiming Bobrovsky the answer to all the Flyers' goaltending question marks (both short-term and long-term), keep three things in mind:
1) The league doesn't have a scouting "book" on Bobrovsky yet. Hockey is a game of adjustments. Before long, teams will figure out his strengths (lateral movement, quick glove, closes the five-hole quickly) and potential weaknesses (still largely untested on the stick side, plus it remains to be seen how good his rebound control). It will then be up to Bobrovsky to make the necessary adjustments.
2) Everything has gone smoothly so far for him. That's what you want, of course, but eventually he's going to face adversity. That's where you really learn about a player, especially a goaltender.
3) He is still going to need time to get fully acclimated to the North American rink and game. Bobrovsky seems to have good mechanics and already be adjusting to the angles, but only rarely does the process go off without a few hiccups along the way.
That said, Bobrovsky appears to be the type of goaltender who remains calm under pressure. After his performance last night, he's earned another start.
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