Born September 20, 1988 (age 23) in Novokuznetsk, USSR/Russia
Goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers
As we go into the postseason, I recall that time last May when Philadelphia played a game of musical goalies in their four-game sweep by the Bruins. Brian Boucher would often make the start, but Bobrovsky played every single game as well, mostly in relief. However, my interest in him has piqued again recently for a more comical reason that will be discussed later. Anyway. Bobrovsky was never drafted, though Philadelphia almost did in 2006 but said it was hard to sign Russian players at the time. So instead Bobrovsky plied his trade with Metallurg Novokuznetsk in his hometown, a very blue-collar mining-and-steel type of job (dad used to mine, now he’s part of the miners union; mom works at the steel mill) until 2010, when he got in with the Flyers on a three-year entry-level deal.
Originally he was destined for the Adirondack Phantoms, but he did really well at training camp and stood in for Flyers starter Michael Leighton, who was hurt. Leighton got better but Bobrovsky continued to share duties with Boucher. In fact, Bobrovsky started the first game of 2010-11 against Pittsburgh, which the Flyers won 3-2, and he was named the first star of the game–at the then-new Consol Energy Center. He had a good regular season, but a not-so-great playoff run as mentioned above, though now he backs up fellow Russian Ilya Bryzgalov. I bet Bryz shares with him the secrets of the universe. Bobrovsky played in the 2012 Winter Classic against New York because, at the time, Bryzgalov was not performing well.
Oh, right, the comical thing! Well, Jay Onrait on Canada’s version of SportsCenter–the Queen’s English spelling SportsCentre–has a knack for saying Bobrovsky’s name with a lot of inflection and for crafting a little ‘backstory’ in which Bobrovsky appears to be a police officer by the way Onrait talks about him. Enjoy.