by Patrick Hoffman on 05/10/11 at 02:13 PM ET
Every single year, it seems like the Philadelphia Flyers have a goaltending problem.
That was obviously the case this season, especially when it came to this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Goaltenders Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton all struggled in between the pipes and ultimately, it led to the Flyers’ being swept by the Boston Bruins in the second round.
With all of that said, and as a goaltender myself, I believe that Bobrovsky is still the future for this Flyers’ hockey club. You may think I am crazy but before attaching that label to my name, hear me out.
For starters, Bobrovsky had a solid rookie season between the pipes for the Broadstreet Bullies. “BOB” won 28 games and posted a 2.59 goals against average, and a .913 save percentage, both respectable statistics, especially for a Flyers’ netminder.
Secondly, while he did struggle in the postseason going 0-2 with a goals against average that was above 3 and a save percentage below .900, he was not terrible in Game 4 in his team’s 5-1 loss to the Bruins. He kept his hockey club in the game for as long as he possibly could and made some terrific saves in the process.
Lastly, he is just 22 years of age and needs some time to grow both physically and mentally. Physically, Bobrovsky has the skills to succeed as an NHL netminder. He’s quick, great at going post to post and is solid technically. With that said, he needs to do a much better job of covering the top portion of the net as that is where he seems to get beat the most.
Mentally, he needs to adjust to being someone that can be counted on in big games at the most important time of the season. He needs to somehow beat the stigma of the Fkyers always having an incapable netminder come playoff time and show Flyers’ fans that he is not like every goaltender that comes thorugh Philly.
While I do agree that the Flyers’ should go out and acquire a veteran netminder to push Bobrovsky, I still think that BOB has what it takes to be the No.1 guy for the Flyers and get them deep into the playoffs.
What do you folks think?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.