Bobrovsky adjusting on and off the ice

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 11: Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers stops a shot by the Colorado Avalanche in the third period of a hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center on October 11, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Sergei Bobrovsky shares his first impressions of life in the NHL, on and off the ice. Even if facing a few problems, adjusting to new life has gone pretty smoothly for the young Russian.

So far he's been living alone because of visa issues.

"I'm living alone, waiting for my girlfriend. There are some problems with the American embassy. It's not so easy to get a visa in the US."

"My parents and sister will come to visit me after New Year."

Bobrovsky doesn't feel that the langauge barrier has been a big problem so far.

"I wouldn't say that I'm experiencing big problems because I don't understand the language. I understand what they want from me, but it's hard to speak."

"The whole team is a bunch of good guys and the atmosphere in general is terrific. I don't feel uncomfortable in this team for not speaking the same language."

"I came to camp three weeks earlier and I was given a tutor in English. I worked with the tutor almost every day."

"Now the games have started and I have almost no free time at all, so I'm starting to pick up the language on my own. Everyone speaks English everywhere I go."

It does help to have some Russian speakers on the team.

"Well, of course I talk more with Nikolay Zherdev because he's the only one I can discuss anything. There's also the Latvian Oskars Bartulis who speaks Russian."

"I can only use a couple of phrases with the rest of the guys, like 'Hi, how are you?' and 'Good, thanks!'."

Bobrovsky says he hasn't seen much of Philadelphia yet, but he likes what he has seen so far.

"I live in a hotel not far from where we train in Voorhees. So I haven't seen all the sights yet. But in general, about Philadelphia, you can say that this is a magnificent city. There's a lot of architecture, beautiful buildings, I put one in my mask. The arena is also great."

Bobrovsky also included the Kuznetsk fortress in his mask. But it wasn't easy to decide what to put in the mask in the first place.

"My dad helped with that", Bobrovsky admits. "I had to think about it for a long time, I'm not even sure how long it took to decide. Then, when I was asked, I said that I wanted this landmark of my hometown in there."

Bobrovsky says it didn't come as a surprise to him that he would get the start in the Flyers season opener.

"I was prepared for the season with the Flyers and I was ready to play. It didn't surprise me when I heard that I would play. Though maybe it was a surprise for many fans."

As Bobrovsky has said before, his NHL debut felt like any other game.

"I didn't feel anything new before the game. There was no time to waste on admiring the scenes or the organization. After the game, of course, I was very happy. I was glad that the team won and I played a pretty good game."

Bobrovsky received congratulations from a lot of people after the game.

"Honestly, there were so many I don't remember. But it was very nice."

Bobrovsky says he hasn't been homesick. He hasn't had time for that.

"Honestly, I don't have time to be bored. It's a completely different life here and I've jumped right into it."


This report was based off of a Russian-language story released by the Metallurg Novokuznetsk.

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