Bobrovsky Finally Showing His Worth in This Year’s Playoffs

Sergei Bobrovsky in the Stanley Cup Playoffs Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Sergei Bobrovsky in the Stanley Cup Playoffs Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a strange journey when it comes to goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and the Florida Panthers.

On the first day of free agency in 2019, the Panthers signed Bobrovsky, 34, to a seven-year, $70 million contract. At the time, it seemed like an excellent deal for the Panthers as they were getting a goaltender who won two Vezina Trophies (2013 and 2017 with the Columbus Blue Jackets) as well as someone who would be the first legitimate starting goaltender the franchise had since Roberto Luongo.

Well, at least in the regular season, Bobrovsky has not been worth all the money that the Panthers are paying him, as he has been a mixed bag between the pipes. Here are his numbers in the regular season:

– 2019-20: 23-19-06 with a 3.23 goals-against average, a .900 save percentage, and one shutout in 50 games

– 2020-21: 19-8-0-2 with a 2.91 goals-against average, a .906 save percentage, and three shutouts in 31 games

– 2021-22: 39-7-0-3 with a 2.67 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage, and three shutouts in 54 games

– 2022-23: 24-20-0-3 with a 3.07 goals-against average, a .901 save percentage, and one shutout in 50 games

His numbers in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Panthers in the three years prior to this one were not exactly great either:

  • 2019-20: 1-3 with a 3.07 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage
  • 2020-21: 1-2 with a 5.33 goals-against average and a .841 save percentage
  • 2021-22: 4-6 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage

All of the numbers mentioned above do not exactly scream $70 million goaltender. Yes, he was solid in the 2021-22 regular season and even a bit in the postseason, but in every other season with the Panthers, he has been mediocre at best, which is not what the Panthers signed up for when they gave him that big contract back in the summer of 2019.

Fast forward to now, and Bobrovsky is doing everything he can to show the Panthers that he is worth all the money that they are giving him. In fact, he is doing so at the most important time of the year, and that is in this year’s playoffs.

After starting this year’s postseason on the bench playing behind Alex Lyon, Bobrovsky burst onto this year’s playoff scene in Game 5 of his team’s first-round series with the league’s best Boston Bruins. Not only did he win that game by stopping 44 of 47 shots, but he then won Games 6 and 7 to help his team shock the Bruins and the rest of the hockey world in winning the first round.

Bobrovsky has continued his strong play between the pipes in the second round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bobrovsky has the Panthers up 2-0 series, and just two wins away from appearing in the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 1996.

In seven games in this year’s postseason. Bobrovsky is 5-1 with a 3.33 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. Yes, the goals-against average certainly is not great, but right now, he is playing some of his best hockey since joining the Panthers.

This has especially been the case in Games 1 and 2 against the Leafs. The Leafs have a high-octane offense and, in two games, have thrown 73 shots on Bobrovsky.

Bobrovsky has more than gotten the job done, as he has stopped 69 of those 73 shots. He is the main reason why his team is up two games in this series and is two wins away from cooking up another upset in this year’s playoffs.

There are a few reasons why Bobrovsky is playing well right now. For starters, he is playing with confidence.

Bobrovsky is challenging shooters, coming up with big saves when his team needs them the most, and, more importantly, winning hockey games. When you put those three things together, you have a goaltender that feels like he can accomplish anything.

Secondly, he is showing his team and management that he was worth the investment that they made four years ago. They are paying him a ton of money to get this team to the next level, and for the first time in a Panthers uniform, he is doing just that.

Lastly, he is showing his head coach Paul Maurice that he made the right decision to go to him in Game 5. Lyon was the goaltender that got the Panthers into the playoffs, so it was probably a tough decision for Maurice to make, considering that his club was on the ropes.

While there is a lot that can change, considering that the series is still relatively young, the Panthers can take solace in the fact that Bobrovsky is playing extremely well at the right time, something he has not done since signing that massive contract. It is up to Bob whether or not he continues to play at this level and show the franchise that he can still be extremely valuable to them moving forward. 

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
  2. The Final Countdown
  3. Here Come the Playoffs
  4. Home Stretch
  5. Kevy Cooks

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ECHL: Fort Wayne Komets Sign All-Star Forward & Young Defenseman

The Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL Central Division announced that 2023-2024 ECHL All-Star and Fort Wayne native, forward Alex Aleardi, has been signed by the Komets ahead of the 2024-2025 season. Additionally, defenseman Ethan Ritchie has also signed with the Komets. These new signings are definitely exciting Komets fans for October, as this roster […]

Read More

ECHL: Atlanta Gladiators Sign Forward Blake Murray

The Atlanta Gladiators announced that they have signed forward Blake Murray for the 2024-25 season. Murray hails from Uxbridge, Ontario and is known for his abilities as a center and left wing. He was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 6th round (183rd overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft. Murray signed a three-year entry-level […]

Read More

ECHL: Maine Mariners Bought By Dexter Paine

The Maine Mariners announced on Tuesday Morning that the team has been bought by Dexter Paine after being owned by Comcast Spectacor since 2017 when they brought hockey back to the Portland Area. Paine, who is from New Hampshire and a lifelong Boston Bruins fan, has been a member of the US Olympic and Paralympic […]

Read More