The Columbus Blue Jackets and their fans know just how good Sergei Bobrovsky is. Russia got a taste of him in the Olympics, when he recorded a shutout. Unfortunately for Bobrovsky, however, he didn’t get the nod as Team Russia’s starter in net. Rather, Semyon Varlamov lead the men in red in Sochi. Now, however, there is another chance for the Russians to make a stand on the world stage. After a disappointing loss in the Olympics, Team Russia hopes to come back in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, and this time they are lead by Bobrovsky in net.
Unsurprisingly, Bobrovsky started out strong this tournament. Russia’s first opponent was Switzerland, last year’s runner-up at Worlds. It was also Sergei Bobrovsky’s first ever appearance in the IIHF World Championship. And what an appearance it was. Bobrovsky got in front of all 27 shots the Swiss threw at him, and recorded his first IIHF shutout in his first game, and was the player of the game. He got plenty of help from his teammates, and Russia went on to win that game 5-0.
On Mother’s Day, Team Russia played a huge game. They faced Finland, a team that has always had their number at Worlds. Bobrovsky got in front of 34 of 36 shots that game, good enough for a .94 save percentage, and helped his team win 4-2. He was helped by Alexander Ovechkin, who scored for the second straight game, and call-up Sergei Kalinin, who made the roster due to an injury to forward Andrei Loktionov. Kalinin made the most of his chance on Team Russia, recording a goal and an assist. With two games down, the Russians are looking to continue their dominance and rebound from the disappointing loss in Sochi. That rebound, of course, started with beating Finland, but will have to carry on through the rest of the tournament.
On Monday, the Russians have another huge prelim game. This time it’s against Team USA, but Bobrovsky is likely to be given the day off.