Wins more important than starts for Bobrovsky

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 26: Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates with teammate #33 after defeating the Buffalo Sabres on October 26 2010 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Sabres 6-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Once again, it doesn't seem like an easy job to say who's the starting goaltender for the Flyers - or if they even have one - but Sergei Bobrovsky doesn't see it as a problem.

"Believe me, there's no competition between us", Bobrovsky says about the situation with him and Brian Boucher. "We play for the same team and work together. We'll be friends, no matter who starts."

"I can't say I'm obsessing about trying to be the starter. When they put me in goal, I try to win. When they put Brian in, I root for him. I'm not even thinking about who's considered the starter. It's important for me to just play."

Bobrovsky says playing is a little easier now when he's started to adapt to the North American game. He feels he has adjusted and developed since the beginning of the season.

"The game is different here, but I haven't changed my technique dramatically, just added some new details. Like I'm more active with the stick now."

"In general, we're working very actively with the goalie coach and we work a lot on all aspects."

"I've adapted better to NHL hockey now and I've started to feel more comfortable. And, most importantly, I've been able to start talking more with the defensemen."

Bobrovsky isn't starting as much now as he did in the beginning of the season, but he isn't worrying about the number of his starts.

"You know, I don't decide when I start. That's the coach's decision."

"I don't worry too much about the individual numbers in general. They aren't as important to me as the number of wins the team gets."

"There are the team numbers and the individual numbers. I'm more worried about the former."

"What comes to the stuff that people write about me, I don't read anything."

While Bobrovsky is enjoying a successful season, the bigger Russian names like Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin have struggled more than usual. Bobrovsky can't find an explanation for it, but expects the stars to pick it up eventually.

"Someone like Kovalchuk played in the NHL already when I was still playing in juniors in Novokuznetsk. He's a great player who's able to overcome adversity. In general, all of those guys are some of the best players in the world, so I'm sure they'll find their game eventually."

Bobrovsky was also happy to see the Russians win the gold in World Juniors.

"I was so worried in the final! I was happy for the guys. I had some friends playing there, Dmitri Orlov and Maxim Kitsyn. I sent them congratulations immediately after the game."

Congratulations weren't the only thing the Russian team got after the tournament as they got kicked out of the airport for being too drunk when trying to fly back home. But Bobrovsky offers understanding for his friends.

"I don't know exactly what happened there. The media says one thing, but it can be quite different in reality."

"But even if something happened, I can understand those kids. They're young and their emotions are running high."

"It's normal; you win a big tournament and then you celebrate."

Bobrovsky denies ever being drunk on a plane himself.

"I don't think I have. But I haven't won the world championship anyway." (laughs)


This report was based off of a Russian-language story in the publication Sport-Express.

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