The secret to Sergei Bobrovsky’s playoff redemption tour

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When Blue Jackets winger Nick Foligno first arrived in Columbus in 2012, he instantly bonded with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

After every win, the team skated over to congratulate the goaltender. Usually guys tapped Bobrovsky on the helmet or shoulder. Foligno usually lurked by the end of the line and greeted Bobrovsky with both arms outstretched.

“When we were going on that run the first year, we missed the playoffs by a point … every game just got bigger and bigger,” Foligno says. “At first it was just a little hug, and then it just got bigger and bigger, because we kept winning and gave ourselves a chance.”10

Besides the one game the next season when Foligno forgot (and heard about it from Bobrovsky after), the two haven’t missed a hug since. And over the past six years, Foligno, Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets organization have been through a lot. There have been highs of regular-season success (and many, many hugs) and lows of early playoff exits — or no playoffs at all. Until this spring, the Blue Jackets hadn’t made it past the first round in their 18 years of existence.

Bobrovsky, too, has wavered. He is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and unquestionably the greatest goaltender in franchise history. Yet the narrative surrounding Bobrovsky is one of a postseason bust. Between 2011 and 2018, Bobrovsky went 5-14 in the playoffs, with a 3.49 goals-against average and .891 save percentage. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Bobrovsky allowed at least three goals in 79 percent of his postseason appearances in that span, by far the most of any goalie with at least 10 appearances.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

This spring, though, it’s been all warm and fuzzy in Columbus. Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets are rewriting the narrative, and it’s been one big redemption tour.

“I’m not in his head, but I think it’s obvious he was really motivated to have a strong playoffs,” says Joonas Korpisalo, Bobrovsky’s backup. “It doesn’t matter what people think about him, he just wants to work hard for himself and the team. And he works harder and is more of a pro than any goalie I’ve ever seen.”