One of my favorite quotes from a Columbus Blue Jacket came courtesy of Artem Anisimov after a game in 2014. He put succinctly into words how everyone feels about goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. "He's the Bob when we need him to be the Bob," said Anisimov to the media.
In every NHL season, there are ups and downs. There are streaks and droughts. It just the nature of the beast. In Bobrovsky's previous three games before his game against the Red Wings, he had two regulation losses and a shootout loss on his ledger. He put up a .888 save percentage in those three games.
"I just play by the puck. It just happened. I can't explain what the process was. I don't know. I can't even remember."– Sergei Bobrovsky on his mind-numbing save
But "The Bob" as he tends to do, he bounced back. He posted a .970 save percentage against the Red Wings and showed that he is one of the few players you don't worry about when it comes to his performance.
— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) November 12, 2017
"I just play by the puck. It just happened. I can't explain what the process was. I don't know. I can't even remember," said Bobrovsky about the mind-numbing save.
It has become common practice for him to make such outstanding saves and it somehow doesn't take away from the absurdity of it all. Bobrovsky has won two Vezina Trophy's and that should numb part of his talent to those who watch him often. Watching him play nightly doesn't normalize his efforts or lessen his impact. It is a testament to how impressive he is despite the outcome of the game.
"I don't know how he made the save," said forward Brandon Dubinsky on Bobrovsky's all-world save. "It was incredible. ... That's why he's the best in the world."
There will be more winning streaks and more losing streaks throughout the season. The Blue Jackets will be put through the ringer. But if you have learned anything since Bobrovsky was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers, it is that "he's the Bob when we need him to be the Bob."