Sergei Bobrovsky. While you may not know the name now, I promise that you will by the end of this article and will remember it for a long time. He is supposed to be the next great goaltender of the Philadelphia Flyers. Bobrovsky is hoping to fly in lineage with the likes of Bernie Parent, Pelle Lindbergh, and Ron Hextall.
The Flyers may not have to wonder who their goalie is for much longer with “Bob” sweeping through town. The “Bob” Phenomenon will take the city of Philadelphia by storm very soo. Providing them with a top-flight goaltender for the first time in a long time.
The young Russian prospect, with the right guidance, will be a star in this league for many years. Under the tutelage of Flyers’ Goalie Coach Jeff Reese, among others, Bobrovsky will flourish. Reese has already done wonders in rejuvenating Michael Leighton. This paid off last season.
Bobrovsky presents a different type of net minder than the ordinary ones Flyer fans have seen. The mediocrity of guys like Robert Esche, Sean Burke, and countless others, was solid enough, but ultimately they could never deliver a Stanley Cup. Leighton nearly did it, but he too proved to be nothing more than a goalie who rode a hot-streak. Leighton is a good goalie at best, nothing more, nothing less. Bobrovsky appears to be the long-term answer for Philadelphia. This is new to Philadelphia.
The KHL was a good preparatory program for the young Russian. There’s a certain launching pad the KHL represents that comes with much promise. The promise of one day playing in the NHL. His story is even more impressive when considering the KHL puts out more scorers than anything else.
With Michael Leighton out for at least a month, Bobrovsky might make the opening night roster backing up veteran Brian Boucher. Bobrovsky or Swede Johan Backlund should get the duty of back-up goalie. Either way, don’t expect Bobrovsky to take a backseat for much longer. He will be the starter one day very soon.
Bobrovsky provides a great sense of poise even at the age of 22. He'll continue to grow. While there is room for improvement, most of his mechanics are solid. His natural goal tending instincts are there. He will be a gem for the Flyers. Credit GM Paul Holmgren with a sensational find out of Russia.
It’s no wonder the Flyers spent no off-season money on goaltending. Bobrovsky has shown them much in a short period of time. He will likely take the reins after Leighton’s contract is up. Who knows? Maybe even sooner.