Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Bobrovsky Flyers' last hope?

Categories: Boston Bruins, PHI vs. BOS, Philadelphia Flyers

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Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has relieved Brian Boucher in all three games Philadelphia has played against Boston. (Tom Mihalek/Associated Press) Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has relieved Brian Boucher in all three games Philadelphia has played against Boston. (Tom Mihalek/Associated Press)

By Tim Panaccio, CSNPhilly.com

Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette seldom announces his goaltender in advance.
 
Although he did announce that Sergei Bobrovsky would start the playoffs and he did. Bob played well that first game and lost 1-0 to Ryan Miller.
 
He got shelled in Game 2, Brian Boucher came off the bench and the Russian rookie disappeared from sight as Michael Leighton re-appeared as the backup.
 
The Flyers are down 0-3 to the Bruins in this Eastern Conference semi-final series and guess what? "Bob" may have re-emerged as the savior for Game 4, if such exists at this point for the Flyers.
 
Bobrovsky did a relief appearance for Boucher in Game 3 here in Boston and played pretty well with seven saves on eight shots. One club source said he was "probable" to start.
 
And why not? Bobrovsky is the future, even if the Flyers thought the future was now and immediate this season.

Laviolette would not comment, saying he'll announce his goalie on Friday.
 
Except there is no morning skate so who will be announce it to?
 
"I thought he looked great in relief in the Boston series," Danny Briere said of the 22-year-old, who still speaks little English, but understands more.
 
"Sometimes a lot has to do with how you feel against a team.Certain teams for goalies, maybe he can come in and feel good and see the puck well against the Bruins. I don't know if he's playing or not tomorrow, but if he's in there, I'd feel very comfortable."

Bobrovsky had a remarkable rookie year for the Flyers, winning 28 games with a 2.59 goals against average and .915 save perecentage.
 
But the success he had in mid-season was gone by February when clubs began to figure out where he could be beaten and how he tended to overplay shots and open up the five-hole early.
 
Bobrovsky finished the season losing four straight and a fifth got a no-decision after a terrible start. He just collapsed at the end, perhaps because he never played more than 32 games in any season and appeared in 54 games as a rookie here.
 
Yet, he started the playoffs. Played well in first game against Buffalo and you know the rest. He gave the Flyers a chance in Game 2 against Boston which the team lost, 3-2 in overtime.
 
Bobrovsky was summoned into relief when Boucher dislocated the fourth finger of his catching hand and had to leave in the second period, before the veteran returned in the third period.
 
"Bob, he came in off the bench going in for the injury there [Game 2] and I thought he did a good job last night," Laviolette said. "He was good.
 
"Again, our team, the goals that went in last night, the first two, we need to be a lot better with what we do in our game in front of our goaltenders. There weren't a lot of chances, but we gave up too many good ones, too many quality ones."

The days seem numbered for the Flyers right now. Question is, will Bobrovsky's number - 35- come up in a Game 4 elimination on Friday? 
 
All or nothing.  Or nothing at all.
 
Coaches always talk about taking the positives out of losses and applying them to the next game as something to build on.
 
So what can be applied to Game 4 after the brutal 5-1 loss in Game 3?
 
"I don't think you can take anything positive out of it," said Finnish defenceman Kimmo Timonen, who always speaks with candor.
 
"We got 37 shots. Maybe that's the only thing. Other than that, I don't think there is anything positive.
 
"The only thing we can do now is look at one game and not the big picture. Make sure we bring our skating and forechecking and be aggressive [Friday]. That's our game. If we are able to do that, we'll be in good shape."
 
The Speech

Laviolette gave the Flyers a pep talk on Thursday morning. Similar to the one he gave them last year after going down 0-3 to Boston.
 
"That fired us up last year, and I hope it's going to do the same," Briere said. "We weren't really talkative too much ... I really believe guys are going to leave it on the ice tomorrow."
 
What was said? Without revealing any secrets?
 
"We're capable of giving more than we gave [Wednesday] night," Laviolette said. "I truly believe that. We've done it so many times. Without making excuses, it wasn't good enough last night.
 
"We got to be better. Individually,  we're accountable to ourselves. We have to make sure we're ready to play the game. And give all you got and then more. And that's where we came up short."
 
Killed their will 

David Krejci's line has 14 points in the series. Krejci has eightof them (four goals).
 
His line seems to have single-handedly taken the fight out of the fighting Flyers.
 
"No, I don't think it's over," Krejci said this morning.  "You saw last year how they came back. We have to take it game by game. It's Game 4. We go out and have the same approach as yesterday."
 
Added linemate Nathan Horton: They have a good team with a lot of good players. You don't want to give them any life. One little opportunity they get, they could score and get the momentum back.
 
"You just want to take their life away. Keep pressing, keep playing and making it hard to play against. Keep finish our hits on them. That's what the playoffs are about, right."
 
Claude says

There's little question the series has a different "feel" to it than last year when Boston was up 3-0 but the first, two games were fairly close. The Flyers felt good about themselves.
 
They had their heads hanging low throughout Game 3. There's a different feel this time. And the feel is, the Flyers aren't in the series, having been blown out twice in three games.
 
"Well as I said you got to move on in life," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, when asked if he sensed the difference between 3-0 last May and now.
 
"We've moved on as far as this is a different group. This is obviously a different feeling. This is a group that feels like it has to continue playing the way it has been. And we're a determined group right now.
 
"We're certainly not sitting comfortable by any means. We never have whether it was the last round or whatever. So we have the right mindset I think as we speak. And we know the importance of tomorrow's game and what it means and we'll be prepared for that."

Ffor more from Tim Panaccio on the Flyers, check out CSNPhilly.com.