3. Bobrovsky On The Case
Entering the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Columbus Blue Jackets had some questions to answer. Most of them revolved around the postseason history of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. As terrific as the two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender has been in the regular season, he had been equally awful in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Bobrovsky turned that narrative upside down. People might have started thinking “here we go again” after he allowed three goals in the first period of Game 1. However, after that point, he was nearly perfect. Bobrovsky’s save in Game 1 against Kucherov was a huge turning point in the series.
Goaltending wound up being a huge difference maker in the series. It’s just that the goalie everyone expected to fail came up big. And the goalie who everyone thought would come up big wound up struggling mightily.
Bobrovsky will be a free agent after the playoffs. Maybe the hope of a huge payday motivated him. But it’s worth noting Bobrovsky was stellar in March and he has never gone into the postseason playing so well. So much about goaltending is confidence and he seems to have found it.
The Blue Jackets will need Bobrovsky to be at his best to continue their improbable Stanley Cup run. They have to be encouraged by what they saw against the Lightning. Bobrovsky became the goaltender Blue Jackets fans have been praying to see in the playoffs.