Sergei Bobrovsky fared poorly in his last start against the Buffalo Sabres, giving up three quick goals in seven shots. He looked shaky and unconfident. Bill Meltzer put it best when he said it was like Bob realized the enormity that is the postseason, and not in a good way.
Still, he’s been known to bounce back from bad outings and is a better goalie on the road (.920 SV%, 2.51 GAA). After he was pulled from game 2, it was reasonable to think that he had a chance at starting the next game. Not so.
This morning, Dave Isaac gave us the first hint that Bobrovsky would not start or even play tonight on Twitter.
Bob working along the boards with Jeff Reese. Almost positive that means he’ll see this game from the press box.
Soon thereafter, it was confirmed by Peter Laviolette that Brian Boucher would start tonight. Then, Tim Panoccio stated that Leighton would be the backup.
Goalies been told not to talk till after gAme. Leighton backs up
Prior to this morning, I would have argued that Bobrovsky should have started tonight. He should have been given the chance to bounce back. Benching or scratching him could hurt his confidence and prove harmful in the long run. My opinion changed after reading this quote from Bobrovsky via Teemu H:
“Physically I’m feeling normal. Mentally… not really. But I’ll get over it soon.” – Bobrovsky on last game.
At the moment, Bobrovsky does not appear to be in the right mental space to handle the pressure of a big playoff game that could be a huge key to this series. Scratching him was the right move. It takes the pressure of him and allows him to recollect himself and get his confidence back.
Brian Boucher also earned the right to start tonight. He was a calming influence on the team and played well in game 2 when it was spiraling out of control. I’d expect more of the same from him tonight. Meanwhile, Bob can ease himself back into form and should be ready to step up if he needs to do so.