Bobrovsky baptism of fire, give it to him Now!
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10-08-2010, 11:59 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lumberton, NJ
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.
Agreed on all points.
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.
Agreed. It's one thing for him to be successful early, but he needs to continuously adapt. Coaching will help him I hope. The risk there is that the coaching he receives can go to his head too much. The Flyers need to be patient and careful with him.
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.
Disagree. He's shown how he battles through adversity. That was one of my notes on him.
Meltzer just said he faced adversity in Pittsburgh and shown through. If he's not facing adversity as a young goalie who has never played in North America, never communicated with teammates on the ice in anything other than Russian, never had a goalie coach, and had his season opener on the road against Crosby/Malkin in a brand new arena on a night where the ice was completely sloppy, I don't know what adversity is.
One things in the book of Bobrovsky is his cool under pressure and his ability to keep from getting rattled.
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.
I think Bob got a little cocky at points when playing the puck, but I didn't see many other hiccups. He looked solid.
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.
As I said, Bobrovsky, dating back to Russia, has always handled pressure well; probably a testament to how bad his KHL team was. This was a new scenario last night, but in the regard of seeing a ton of shots one after another while his team is struggling in its own end, he was right at home.
I have more questions about how he will survive when the pressures not on when our full defense skates and we're playing some weaker teams. He needs to demonstrate he can keep his head in the game through the lulls when his heart isn't racing.
Last edited by CS: 10-08-2010 at
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