At the end of the season Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets were making their final push towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unfortunately CBJ was just shy of that goal and barely missed the postseason.
Bobrovsky’s strong play guided the Blue Jackets towards that possible playoff birth. He was strong for most of the year but was particularly exceptional during that final push. Bobrovsky won four out of the last five games, three of which were on the road.
One of the big questions for the Blue Jackets next season is: Can Bobrovsky continue that strong play to lead his team into the playoffs?
Lets take a look at his stats:
Wins: Bobrovsky suited up for 38 games this season and posted 21 wins, the second most of his young NHL career. In the 2010-11 season he posted 28 wins while playing 54 games for the Philadelphia Flyers, just 16 games more than this past season. The Flyers are probably still kicking themselves for trading away the up and coming superstar goalie. [BlueJackets.NHL.com]
Save Percentage: This year Bobrovsky had one of his best years statistically, especially in the save percentage department. Sergei’s save percentage was .932, which was one of the reasons he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy. To compare: Last years winner, Henrik Lundqvist, had a save percentage of .930. [BlueJackets.NHL.com]
Goals Against Average: Bobrovsky set another personal milestone this year, with a 2.00 goals against average. There were only four other goalies that had lower than a 2.00 goals against average this past season. [ESPN Goaltending Statistics]
If this season had been a full 82 game season, I think that Bobrovsky would have lead the Blue Jackets straight into the playoffs. Bobrovsky seemed to be only getting warmed up during the end of the shortened season. If he doesn’t win the Vezina Trophy this year, he will in the very near future.
So if I had to answer my own question, I would say that it is a definite YES, Sergei Bobrovsky will continue his strong play next season, and for many more to come.