In Part 2 of our conversation with Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, he addresses getting used to holidays in America, the travel, more on the All-Star voting and his rough outing against Tampa Bay on Nov. 18, when he allowed four goals on 11 shots.
The Daily News enlisted the help of freelance journalist Andrey Osadchenko, of the Russian website Allhockey.ru. Osadchenko spoke to Bobrovsky via Skype and what follows is a transcript of their conversation translated into English by Osadchenko.
Question: Your fellow Flyers recently have said a lot of good things about you. Do you follow their comments in the newspapers?
Answer: To be honest with you, I don't really read newspapers. I don't read about myself, or about hockey in general. I've got a lot of hockey in my life. There are a lot of games and workouts . . . Therefore, in my spare time I try to escape from hockey. So I don't know what they write about me (smiles).
Question: There are many holidays in America that you're not used to - Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. Did you celebrate them?
Answer: Our season is in full swing - games, games, games . . . So the holidays happened during the time I was preparing for the match. For example, after Thanksgiving we had a game at 1 p.m. the next day. So I don't pay much attention to the holidays. I'm focused entirely on the season.
Question: What about your birthday?
Answer: I didn't celebrate it, either. I was born in this month (Sept. 20) when the hockey season starts. I think, in the last 3 years I have a game to play the next day after my birthday. Last year I had a game in the KHL, here it was a preseason game . . . So I didn't have a chance to celebrate my birthday.
Question: In November, a number of players grew moustaches for charity. Did you do that too?
Answer: (Laughs) No, I did not. You can't see it under my mask anyway. And during the game I never take it off. It didn't make sense for me to do it, I guess. In general, I feel indifferent about it, but on the other hand, it certainly looks a little funny, since it's unusual.
Question: You have already visited many North American cities. Which one do you like most?
Answer: Basically, they're all nice. Naturally, it's awesome to play in Montreal. But at home our fans create a great atmosphere, so I like it there as well. I didn't really see the cities we played in, though. We check in to a hotel, sleep, play the game and leave. I can't put a finger on a certain city and say that I like it the most.
Question: Would you say you've waited particularly for the game against the Canadiens in Montreal?
Answer: No. I prepare the same way for each game; I try to play well. I don't think, that, well, now I want to play with that team or this. I play one game at a time. You go through a season like you go up the ladder.
Question: The whole world has heard about the Philadelphia rolls (a piece of sushi with salmon, cucumber and cream cheese). You've been around the city for a while now. Is it true they are the most delicious in Philadelphia?
Answer: (Laughs) I do not know, I have not tried them here yet. I would not say that this is the most popular dish in my diet. I generally like sushi, but rarely eat rolls.
Question: You are second in the All-Star voting. A lot of Russian hockey fans will vote for you to help you get there. Did you ask any of your friends to vote for you?
Answer: (Laughs) No, I didn't . . . I only found out [(the other day)] that I'm in second place or something like that. As I already said, I don't really read the newspapers, so I don't follow the news.
Question: In the balloting you compete with Carey Price, of the Canadiens, and Marc-Andre Fleury, of the Penguins. Is it fair to say that they made the greatest impression on you in the NHL?
Answer: I would not say that it was "the greatest." Each and every one of the NHL goalies are great and it's hard to point somebody out. Yes, Price and Fleury are great goalies. But there are great goalies on every team.
Question: In a game against the Lightning you were scored on four times with just 11 shoots and were benched after the first period. Looking back, do you think you could have done anything differently?
Answer: I don't like to look back. Whatever happened, happened. Of course, it could have been avoided. In each situation when the puck went in, I could have played differently. But life goes on, this must be quickly forgotten. Yes, it's an experience. It's bad, but an experience, anyway. You have to move on. Everything else is irrelevant. Maybe it was destined to happen? But you don't want to pay much attention to it.
Question: Do you think it happened because of bad luck or it's a result of the fatigue?
Answer: Frankly, I do not know. What can I say? There are such games. You can't make a save, simple as that. Every goalie has such games. You see the shot, you see the puck and . . . can't make a save.
Question: It's not a secret that psychological preparation for the goalies is important. How did you recover after that game?
Answer: Yes, I agree that for a goalkeeper the psychology is not secondary. Rather, it is - the foundation. You should forget these games as quick as possible. I must go further because the season goes on. No breaks, no time to think here. There's always another game after you've finished with the other.
Question: Are the high expectations from the fans good or bad for you?
Answer: Neither one nor the other. I go out on the ice and try to win every game. I'm not the one who thinks, like - I can play poorly in the next four games, because I have to prepare for the fifth one.
Question: You were recognized as the best NHL rookie of November. Can you say that you have already reached some intermediate goals this season? Or you'll evaluate your performance only at the end of the season?
Answer: Probably the latter. Now there is neither time nor reason to make any conclusions - the season goes on. Once it is finished, then I will give it some evaluation.