They say imitation can be the greatest form of flattery. If that’s true, then Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky should feel honored by the Bruins.
Boston did plenty of preparation ahead of its best-of-seven series against Columbus, especially when it came to dealing with the skill set Bobrovsky brings to the table. But before squaring off against the team that upset the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lighting in a four-game sweep in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the B’s wanted to make sure they could compete with one of Columbus’ best players.
So, they called up Zane McIntyre to mimic Bobrovsky during practice.
But some aren’t convinced that practicing with a stand-in actually works. Take Bruins lead goalie Tuukka Rask, for example.
“You can try (to mimic Bobrovsky), but I don’t know if it’ll do anything,” he said, per The Athletic’s Joe McDonald.
But former netminder Andrew Raycroft believes mimicking an opposing goalie can be a difference-maker. He would know, as he often took on that role throughout his lengthy NHL career.
“It helps shooters get used to the new look,” he said. “Like a real-life shooter tutor.”
But beating Bobrovsky is no simple task. He led the league in shutouts (nine) through the regular season and placed second in regular season wins (37) behind the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Jake DeBrusk, however, seems to think he’s already solved the puzzle.
“Go upstairs,” he said. “You’ve got to go under the bar and get him moving side-to-side. It’s pretty cliché but it’s very true. I’ve actually scored a couple of times on him and every time it’s been upstairs. It’s high blocker or high glove. And, you’ve got to get bodies in front of him.”
We’ll see if the Bruins truly have Bobrovsky figured out when they take on the Blue Jackets in Game 4 on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images