Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Former Flyers G Bobrovsky named Vezina Finalist

Squarely under the file marked "nobody could see it coming, but now that it's happened, everybody complain," is the news that former Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was named one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender.

In his first season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the 24-year-old Russian helped the club pull itself up from dead last in the Western Conference to the doorstep of a playoff berth by going 21-11-6 with a 2.00 goals-against average and four shutouts and stopping 93.2 percent of all pucks he faced in this truncated season.

He wrested the starting spot away from Steve Mason, then put together a March which was worthy of two weekly star honors and Third Star mention for the month after finishing 9-2-3 with a 1.49 GAA and his first three career whitewashes.

If Bobrovsky is selected, he will become the first Russian-trained netminder to take away the award.

He'll also find a dubious spot in Flyers history as the second goaltender to win the Vezina the year after being traded from the organization.

Pete Peeters had a roller-coaster four-year tenure in Philadelphia from 1978-82, and bottomed out with a 3.71 GAA in 1981-82.

He was shipped up to Boston for defenseman Brad McCrimmon, and helped the Bruins to the Adams Division title and a berth in the 1983 Wales Conference Finals thanks to a 40-11-9 record, 2.36 GAA and a league (and career) high eight shutouts.

Peeters, however, was never the same goaltender thereafter, eventually being dealt to Washington in November of 1985, enduring a stint in the minors in 1986-87, and was re-acquired by the Flyers as a free agent in 1989 where he saw two unspectacular years here at the end of his career.

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