2017-18 Player Review: Sergei Bobrovsky

Bob flashed his trademark smile a lot, until the end

Coming into the 2017-18 season, the consensus opinion on Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky read something like this: An all-world goalie upon whose shoulders rested the fortunes of the CBJ, which was precisely why they could never progress past the first round. Bob would dominate the regular season (he does have two Vezina Trophies, after all) only to collapse (historically against the Penguins in the postseason and dash the Blue Jackets’ hopes.

So after logging a career high in minutes (3,912) and ranking near the top of the league in almost every other goaltending category among starters during the regular season, Bob faced a new playoff foe in the Washington Capitals. And that went…well, about the same as it’s always gone. He posted great performances in Games 3 and 4 (both losses) and made some tremendous saves throughout a better series for him, but the overall numbers added up to the same pedestrian playoff Bob.

That said? You can’t discount Bob’s career-high 65 regular season appearances, even if it dipped from his Vezina winning 2016-17 campaign. A .921 save percentage, 37 wins, a .585 quality start percentage and a 2.42 goals against average all combine for another sparkling season for an elite goaltender (oh, with a career-best three assists. Helping his own cause!). In his final 15 regular season starts, Bob went 12-2-1 with a .926 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average, playing a huge role in that monumental 10-game win streak. He also seems to have solved the injury issue that plagued him earlier in his career, knock on wood.

Sergei Bobrovsky is the best player this franchise has ever employed and enjoyed another incredible season. His playoff performance leaves much to be desired, however, and there’s a sizable chunk of the fanbase (hi MrSwift13) advancing the argument to trade the 29-year-old at a premium and hand the keys to someone else. Whether you subscribe that argument or not (which you will definitely hear as the summer progresses), Bob delivered another great season….but you be the judge.

Sergei Bobrovsky 2017-18 Stats

Games played/started: 65
Record: 37-22-6
Save percentage: .921
Goals against average: 2.42
Shutouts: 5
EV/PP/SH save percentage: .935/.891/.832

High Point

Remember when Josh Anderson scored 30 seconds into a December game against Arizona and Bob made 35 saves for a 1-0 shutout? That was cool. But let’s pretend this is the blog equivalent of an Outback Steakhouse where there are no rules and pick two games in a row. Specifically, wins against Detroit (November 11) and Montreal (November 14). Bob made 32 saves and won the shootout against the Red Wings, including this amazing overtime skate save…

three nights before allowing only one goal again in a win at Montreal, where he dropped his stick to make this ridiculous stop:

Those two road wins kicked off a six-game winning streak for Bobrovsky and kept the Jackets flying high around Thanksgiving.

Low Point

With the Blue Jackets facing elimination, Bob gave up five goals on 27 shots in Game 6 against Washington for one of the worst playoff performances of his career.

How would you grade Sergei Bobrovsky’s 2017-18 season?


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