If Bob wants big deal, it's time for him to be one

posted by Bruce Hooley - 

If Sergei Bobrovsky is looking behind him too often in this series it won't be good

My wife and kids love the movie, What about Bob?

I can’t stand it...not because Bill Murray’s neurotic character isn’t funny, but because I’m the psychiatrist, played by Richard Dreyfuss -- impatient, demanding and not empathetic enough in the face of someone’s struggle.

Which brings me to Blue Jackets’ goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Thursday night in Washington.

What about that Bob?

Do you know what we’re going to get in net?

Will it be the two-time Vezina winner, a trophy awarded the best goalie in the National Hockey League.

Or will it be Playoff Bob?

The guy who, in two previous post-season series with the Blue Jackets is 3-8?

Think that’s solely a Penguins’ problem?

Think again.

Including a series against Boston when he was a Philadelphia. Flyer, Bobrovsky is 3-10 in the playoffs with an .887 save percentage and a 3.63 goals-against average.

If he played like that during the regular season, Bob would have a lot more empty space on his mantle. Or, his book collection wouldn’t be smartly contained by matching trophies that look like this.

When Bob is doing his thing in the regular season (37-22-6 this year, with a .921 save percentage and 2.42 GAA), we pay homage to him in all sorts of ways.

But given his history, and given the pressing matter of him entering the last season of his contract next year, this is a big post-season for him and his future with the Blue Jackets.

It’s hard to envision justifying a $10 million per-year spend on Bobrovsky this summer if he’s the Invisible Man over the next two weeks.

But if his demons come only in ugly sweaters no tasteful, upstanding citizen should wear under any circumstances, then back up the Brinks truck full of bitcoin, greenbacks, rubles or whatever currency he prefers.

What’s nice is that Columbus isn’t the only team in this series wondering about what it’s going to get in net.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who will be needing these guys if he loses this playoff series in the final year of his contract, must pick between Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer.

Holtby, like Bobrovsky, is a former Vezina winner.

But Holtby, unlike Bob, has had some struggles this regular season.

The Blue Jackets chased Holtby with four first-period goals in the teams’ last of four regular-season meetings on Feb. 26.

That was the third time in eight starts Holtby got the hook between Feb. 11 and March 6.

Grubauer started the year 0-5-1, but he’s 15-5-2 since, including 7-3 with two shutouts in his last 10 starts.

Then again, Holtby has seemingly gotten it together lately, going 5-1 over his final six starts.

And Holtby does have three wins against the Blue Jackets this year, and he has started 59 of the Capitals’ lat 60 playoff games, including a current streak of 37 in a row.

That likely adds up to Trotz going with Holtby in Game 1 on Thursday.

I could care less which goaltender Trotz chooses.

I have my own issues in net to worry about..

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Bruce Hooley

Bruce Hooley

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