Bobrovsky’s strange season continues for the Blue Jackets

It has been quite an interesting year for the Columbus Blue Jackets’ netminder Sergei Bobrovsky.

For starters, there has been the whole contract and trade issue. Bobrovsky is set to become a UFA at the end of the season and that situation all seems to be pointing in the direction Bobrovsky not re-signing with the team in the offseason.

There were also all these trade rumors surrounding Bobrovsky as well. It was thought that the Blue Jackets would ship him out to get something valuable in return instead of risking losing him for nothing.

This leads us to know and things are still relatively unclear regarding Bobrovsky. Yes, with the trades the club made at the deadline, it appears that this team is going all in for an extended run in the playoffs this year, but in what way will Bobrovsky make an impact in them?

One interesting thing that happened occurred on March 7. That night, the team took on the Pittsburgh Penguins and were shutout by a score of 3-0 with Bobrovsky as a healthy scratch.

Ummm, why is the team scratching him when they are currently two points out of the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference? One would expect that with the team trying to get into the playoffs they would have their supposed best players out on the ice.

This was not the case on March 7. Instead, Bobrovsky sat in the press box while Joonas Korpisalo was the starter and Keith Kinkaid was the backup.

I am not exactly sure why the Blue Jackets this. It was a divisional game against a team that they are only four points behind for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

In the Tribune, hockey scribe Jonathan Bombulie reported that Tortorella said the following when asked about why Bobrovsky was going to be a healthy scratch:

“We feel (Bobrovsky has) played a lot of hockey,” Tortorella said. “This is a game we wanted to give to Korpy, try to give Bob a little bit of rest and kind of work on his game. Bob is a guy that needs some days sometimes to work on certain parts of his game that you can’t do when you’re playing as much as he has. This is a good day for it.”

While a part of me understands that Tortorella wants Bobrovsky to be fresh for the stretch run and the postseason should the club get in, this team is not in a playoff spot as of this writing. Not sure why you would want to sit your starting goaltender for such a crucial game.

With all of that said, however, it’s clear that Bobrovsky has not been at his best this season. He is currently 28-21-1 with a 2.81 goals-against average, a .905 save percentage and five shutouts.

The five shutouts are certainly impressive, but the other numbers are not. This is a guy that has a career 2.48 goals-against average and a career .918 save percentage.

If the Blue Jackets want to get into the playoffs and be real contenders for hockey’s Holy Grail, they need to do it with Bobrovsky between the pipes and it needs to be the Bobrovsky that has won two Vezina Trophies.

It’s time for both Bobrovsky and his team to the right ship because if they cannot do that, they will end up missing the playoffs, making it yet another decent season with absolutely nothing to show for it.

Photo: Tampa Bay Times


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