Is Sergei Bobrovsky playing himself into the Hall of Fame?
If the Florida Panthers go on to lift the Stanley Cup, and Sergei Bobrovsky wins the Conn Smythe Trophy for his playoff heroics, the Russian goaltender will have made what appeared to be an unlikely Hall-of-Fame case a lot stronger.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: One man whose name has been restored to the past glories-- or whatever past glories he had as a two time Vezina winner-- and that is one Sergei Bobrovsky, who right now looks like the front runner for the Conn Smythe trophy. Nobody saw this coming-- that Sergei Bobrovsky would emerge as a guy who would be the biggest reason why the Florida Panthers. Again, came in as a wildcard-- but they are now one win away from a Stanley Cup Final appearance.
Omar, you look beside yourself. I won't go to you right away. But Sam, what does it feel like-- just-- not just, like, feel like? But, like, what are your thoughts on seeing Sergei Bobrovsky play as well as he's been playing?
SAM CHANG: I love it. I love it. I think it's super fun. I think he's been absolutely unbelievable. And what I would like to see is if the Florida Panthers make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, just let Jay Onrait do every game.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yes.
SAM CHANG: Because all I-- like, I used to literally sit and watch, like, the video compilations of all of his different Bobrovsky calls--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Me too.
SAM CHANG: --and they are the best. They can't be topped. Let Jay Onrait do the calls.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Let Jay Onrait do it, [? Rayon. ?] We just we need to hear that Bobrovsky one more time. We need to hear that--
SAM CHANG: "Bobrovsky!"
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I'm getting-- "Bobrovsky!" Here's your [INAUDIBLE]. That's one of the best things out of this, [? man. ?] And, like, this is a guy that we-- here's the wildest thing about Bobrovsky. Right? It's one thing if he was just kind of mid.
We all thought he was washed. We could all point to games and memes where he looked washed-- and was allowing bad goals and was overpaid. This is a revenge tour and a half. For him to--
SAM CHANG: But that's the thing about goaltending, right? Like, it's so unpredictable. Like, it's-- you look at someone like Marc-Andre Fleury. You know, he had seasons where he absolutely looked washed. And then he had seasons like his first season with the Golden Knights where he looked unstoppable. Like, goaltending is never, ever predictable even when you're the top goaltender in the world.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: It's insane. Avry, what do you think about this Bobrovsky Renaissance?
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGAL: It's fun to watch. He's keeping Florida in games. And if you ask people when the playoffs begin, who the [INAUDIBLE] might [INAUDIBLE] probably going to be-- probably [INAUDIBLE] would have said Pasternack, or McDavid, or Draisaitl. I think Bobrovsky was very high. If you started-- [INAUDIBLE] to look again-- he said, "yeah." Bobrovsky-- [INAUDIBLE] We had lots of people saying that.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Omar, to see Sergei Bobrovsky go through Boston, and then go through Toronto, and now at this point, again-- one win away. Like, do you think-- actually, I'll pose this to you and then everyone can get this. He has two Vezinas to his name. If Sergei Bobrovsky gets to the Cup Final, wins the cup, and gets himself a Conn Smythe Trophy, is Sergei Bobrovsky a Hall of Famer?
OMAR: I mean, when it comes to the full-on award-- like, he'll have the cup. He has two Vezinas. So, like, you can make an argument for it. But again, I think the reason why we're were shocked-- we're surprised is because, like, Sergei Bobrovsky has the reputation of having, like, one or two really good years and then other years where he's just, like, unplayable.
And even in this season, we saw that roller coaster. And Julian, you mentioned my reaction, because I forgot something that I had tweeted on April 4, not April 4, April 23-- I'll read. And I quote, "a goaltender will never make double digits again."
And I said that in response to game two, Florida versus Boston, where Sergei Bobrovsky then allowed five goals on 30 shots. And I was, like, "huh. All right. Never going to happen again." And, you know, he's turned it around.
I don't-- I don't know if the full body of work will constitute that. Again, though the Vezinas are great, the cup is great, but I think if you look at his yearly numbers, it's not the greatest. And, you know, Sam, you always bring this up every time we have the conversation about who should get into the Hall of Fame or not. Like, it's not the NHL Hall of Fame. It's the Hockey Hall of Fame.
So you kind of have to look at-- look at all of that as well. So I think he might make the conversation more interesting. But I don't-- I don't know if he would be a guaranteed Hall of Famer. But, yeah. There's no-- there's no denying that he-- the Florida Panthers are nowhere close to where they are if not for Bobrovsky.
And not taking away what the team has done-- they rallied. Matthew Gottschalk has been a leader throughout and-- throughout the entire thing. But Bobrovsky has been on a mission. And maybe this mission has been to prove all the haters wrong. Everyone has talked about, "you know, he's done. Spencer Knight's going to take his job. Alex Lyon's going to take his job."
And you know what? He's, like, "no. It's my job. And he's making a case for it." So kudos to him, even though he's single-handedly destroyed my team.