Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/05/11 at 05:54 AM ET
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
My ballot has yet to be filled out. Votes like these should be taken seriously. As such, I will wait until the last possible moment, to fully digest the complete regular season for each player - and judge based on the whole and not its parts.
That’s why I’m leaning toward the Flyers’ Sergei Bobrovsky as my third Calder finalist and not Crawford or Neuvirth.
Statistically, all three goaltenders are close. Crawford quickly supplanted Marty Turco for the Blackhawks’ starting job. He has a 31-17-5 record in 51 starts with a .918 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average.
Neuvirth is 26-11-4 with a .914 save percentage and a less-impressive 2.50 GAA.
For me, the case for Bobrovsky is simple. He didn’t even land in North America until August. Few knew his name, let alone what to expect from him. Bobrovsky hadn’t even played a single game in a North American-style rink until a rookie game against Washington in September.
Bobrovsky, 22, went from the worst team in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League to one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Now, he is leading the Flyers into the Stanley Cup playoffs as their starter apparent - and he has won over a fan base that places more pressure on their goaltending than any city outside of Montreal.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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