Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

No Controversy; Bob is the Starter

There are some things in life that are hard to grab a hold of.

Whether it’s a target weight, new car or a dream job, certain wants and needs seem like they are unattainable.

For Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky the one thing that continues to elude him is his first career NHL shutout.

Despite playing the first two periods of Thursday night’s 3-2 victory against the New York Islanders like a virtuoso, Bobrovsky lost his shutout only 22 seconds into the final period.

After stopping 22 consecutive shots that had him sprawling across the crease for two periods, it merely took a tap from Kyle Okoposo to end his perfect night. Then to pile it on, the Islanders snuck a second goal by him with only 15 seconds remaining in regulation.

Not that it mattered at that point, but it distorts what otherwise was a phenomenal night from the 23-year old goaltender.

That’s the most important point to take away from Thursday night. It doesn’t matter that Bobrovsky wasn’t flawless, what matters is that he won.

It’s something he has been doing a lot of lately.

Despite lapses in time where he falls into bad habits, Bobrovsky has looked confident in the net, with the puck and looks as agile as he did when he was at optimal performance last season.

The same can’t be said of the team’s other Russian net minder.

It’s no secret that Ilya Bryzgalov, came into town with a laundry list of expectations. It’s also no secret that those expectations were magnified 51 million times.

In his most recent appearances, for the most part, Bryzgalov has looked terrible.

Even when he has looked good, the puck has still managed to find it’s way into the back of the net. While it isn’t accurate to believe that these problems will continually haunt Bryzgalov, it is accurate to say that they are haunting him right now.

Bobrovsky, at least for the time being, isn’t having those same problems.

For a team, such as the Flyers, who are in the thick of a competitive race for control of not only the division but also the conference, it is crucial that they play the goaltender with the hot hand.

In addition, head coach Peter Laviolette has stated on several occasions that playing time is dependent upon performance, not on contract.

With all of that being said, it leads to no other conclusion than the one that has Bobrovsky as the Flyers starting goaltender for the near future.

Considering that he is 5-1-0 in his last six starts and has only allowed more than two goals in one of those starts, it seems only fair that Bobrovsky gets a fair shot at some extended playing time.

This isn’t professional football; the team doesn’t have to designate a single shot caller who is going to be the starter for the rest of all-time.

They just need someone who wins games.

Right now, Bobrovsky is the one doing that and that’s why he should start.

 

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