Sergei Bobrovsky - Career Stats
There is a very clear divide, DMZ, fault line, demarcation - whatever you want to call it, in Sergei Bobrovsky’s 2016-2017 season. This line appears at a very specific time, a moment that has unfortunately appeared at the exact same time in previous seasons.
This line is between the end of the regular season and the playoffs.
This past season, Goalie Bob was absolutely stellar in the regular season, but when the games mattered the most, he struggled. Goalies can steal series, even ‘Cups, and for a young team like the Jackets they needed Bob to steal a game or two for a chance to move on to the second round of the playoffs. Not only was Bob unable to stand on his head and deny the Pens, he wasn’t even providing adequate puck-stopping. Now, the Jackets’ first round exit was not solely due to Bob’s performance, but had he played like he had in the regular season against the Penguins, we may still be watching the CBJ play.
For the purpose of this review, I’m giving Bob a solid “D” in the grade department for his play in the playoffs, mainly due to expectations. We can’t forget however, just how amazing of a regular season Bob had and he is due every ounce of praise that has, and will be, going his way.
His season started as the number one goalie for Team Russia at the World Cup of Hockey. The Russians lost to Canada in the semis, but Bob had a solid tournament, including a clean sheet against the Finns.
The first big accolade came in January, where Bob joined Braden Holtby in being named as the Metropolitan Division goaltenders in the NHL All Star Game in Los Angeles. Though Cam Atkinson and Braden Holtby were the stars of the game, Bob was a member of the victorious Metro squad, playing the first half of the final.
Down the stretch Bob was outstanding for the Jackets. There were many games where the skaters in front of him were less than deserving of victory, but Bob played out of his mind to ensure the win.
On March 5, 2017 Bob pulled off a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils, giving him his 34th win of the season- a new CBJ franchise record for wins in a season.
By season’s end, Bob was the league leader in goals-against average at 2.06, save percentage at .931, and was second in wins with 41 and tied for third in shutouts with 7.
Those spectacular numbers led to some serious recognition from the league. Unsurprisingly, Bob was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for top goaltender, alongside Braden Holtby and Carey Price. Perhaps a bit more surprising, however, was Bob being named a finalist for the Hart Trophy. The Hart is an award given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team. Up against Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby, Bob may not be the favorite but it’s an incredible honor to be nominated.
It’s hard to overlook the way the playoffs went, but one must acknowledge the season that Bobrovsky put up. He was outstanding, and be sure to tune in to the NHL Awards next month when Bob will no doubt hear his name called to the big stage.