If the Philadelphia Flyers are still to be considered an elite team, they’re maintaining that status of late without much help from their number one goaltender. Bobrovsky was awful in Tuesday night’s start against the Capitals, surrendering three goals on nine shots before getting the hook early in the second period. “Bob” avoided taking the loss as the Flyers came back to tie the game before falling in a shootout, but that did little to mask just how ineffective the rookie netminder has been in recent weeks.
With last night’s brief outing, Bobrovsky’s numbers over his last ten games look below average at 3-3-2, 3.30 GAA and .894 Sv%. Bobrovsky has a 3.67 GAA and .899 Sv% going back to February 1st, and has recorded just five wins in 14 appearances. The Flyers have struggled since hitting the stretch drive, dropping seven of their last 11 games including two losses to Atlanta and a 7-0 blowout at the hands of the New York Rangers.
While it’s not fair to pin all the blame on Bobrovsky for the Flyers’ lackluster play of late (Brian Boucher hasn’t exactly been a wall between the pipes either), it might be time to start wondering aloud whether or not the rookie goaltender is running out of gas.
Before surprising everyone who follows the game and earning the number one job in goal for the Flyers this season, Bobrovsky had played two seasons in the KHL and appeared in 32 games and 35 games, respectively. Despite his recent struggles, “Bob” still owns a solid .921 even-strength save percentage. Although he’s appeared in just 46 games for Philadelphia this season, far less than most number one guys, Bobrovsky has showed signs of slowing down and is no longer considered a front runner for the Calder Trophy.
Perhaps the increased workload of an NHL goaltender has worn him down, or maybe it’s just a rough patch in an otherwise impressive season. Either of those explanations would be a welcome one for Flyers fans, especially if you consider another alternative: maybe he’s just not that good.