PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 26: Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period on October 26 2010 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Sabres 6-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
There's a lot of buzz going on around Sergei Bobrovsky, but the man himself doesn't think anything too surprising has happened.
"I can't say that I came to the NHL from out of nowhere. I played professional hockey for four years on Metallurg. I wasn't the worst player in Novokuznetsk. It helped me."
There's one thing Bobrovsky can name as the worst part about the game in the NHL.
"The traffic in front of the net. Crashing the net. That's how the Capitals scored their goals, too."
Bobrovsky isn't sure what he could call the highlight of his season so far.
"I haven't had that yet. Games against Pittsburgh? They were normal games. I play to save my team."
"I did think about who I was playing against... Crosby, Malkin. They're strong, good forwards. But I wasn't nervous to face them."
"I don't overestimate myself. The season has just begun. I'm playing well now, but I understand that I can lose it all in one moment. We should draw the conclusions at the end of the season. Now it's too early to get all happy."After facing Crosby and Malkin, it was time to face Alexander Ovechkin, too. Bobrovsky says he had never faced Ovechkin before.
"Never. But Ovechkin and Semin are good shooters. I could feel it. It's hard to play against them, but also very interesting."
The Flyers have been vocal in supporting their rookie goaltender after each game. Especially compliments from teammate Chris Pronger felt good.
"I can't ignore what he said, but the main thing is to prove I'm worth it."
"It was great to hear it from someone like Pronger specifically. He's a great leader."
Bobrovsky denies being disappointed in not breaking the personal winning streak record for a Flyers rookie goalie.
"I haven't thought about it. Only after the sixth game on Saturday I found out that there could be a new record made."
"Breaking records is not my thing."
It was a disappointment for the whole team nonetheless according to Nikolay Zherdev.
"It's a shame", Zherdev says. "Really."
"Though I don't think he was going for the record. We just wanted to win."
The Flyers allowed a lot of shots against the Capitals, but Bobrovsky doesn't put any blame on the defense.
"The Capitals are a strong team. Our defense helped me the best they could. I'm not blaming them for anything. They all battled and tried hard. I'm comfortable and happy with them. I'm happy to have such defensemen."
Zherdev thinks penalties cost the game for the Flyers.
"The last penalty we took decided the game when they scored in overtime. They have great offense, no question. But we took a lot of penalties. We let them dictate the play."
There was also an unexpected incident in the game for Bobrovsky when he had to adjust his equipment and freeze the play.
"I had to put one strap back. So I wanted to cover the puck and stop the play. The strap probably came off earlier when I slipped and fell. I picked up a stick and told the ref about it. It was not an intentional delay of game."
Bobrovsky says he didn't meet with his old buddy, Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov.
"No. But we have to say hi through our agent."
Despite being a healthy scratch a while back, Zherdev says he's happy to be a Flyer.
"Everything is great. I feel comfortable in the tactic we use and understand where I fit in there with my teammates."
"Though our lines keep changing all the time. But that's hockey. You shouldn't play differently considering who you play with."
Zherdev is happy to be back in the NHL in general as well.
"Sure. I wanted to come back this year. There are no regrets."
There haven't been too many Russian goalie talents around before, but things might be changing now. Bobrovsky brings up one crucial point that helped him in his career.
"I must say thank you to the president of Russian Hockey Federation Vladislav Tretyak, who introduced the rule in the KHL that you can't have more than one foreign goalie in the lineup for each game. I was able to start playing only because of that rule at the time. We had two foreign goalies on the team, but they couldn't both be dressed for games. So they put me on the bench. Then, at the end of the season our starter went down and they gave me a chance. First one period, then a whole game. So I got things started."
Bobrovsky isn't sure if he can consider himself a great goalie yet.
"I don't know. I just work and train. I set goals for myself and then go for them step by step."
This report was based off of a Russian-language story in the publication Sovietsky Sport.