Chatting with Sergei Bobrovsky: Will injury derail Sochi Olympics spot? (Puck Daddy Interview)

Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets was injured in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 3, straining his groin. He’s expected to miss around a month of action, which pushes his injury rehab right into the time when the Russian Olympic team’s roster will be announced.

When I spoke to him this weekend for Sovietsky Sport, he was resting at home and reading “The Count of Monte Cristo.” The Blue Jackets are eager to see if Bobrovsky will be back with a vengeance like Edmond Dantes.

Q. How are you nowadays?

BOBROVSKY: “I am trying to stay positive. Every athlete has injuries at some point of their careers.”

What happened on that play? There was no contact with the opposing player.

“Tampa’s player shot the puck to the top corner, and I was sliding in the opposite direction, I made a sudden move, caught the puck but felt right away that something bad had happened.”

Did you realize right away something bad happened?

“Immediately. I had never had anything like that before. It was my first ever groin injury.”

What’s next?

“I trust the team doctors. They diagnosed the injury that everyone is aware of now. I do everything they tell me to do. I need about 4 weeks to recover. This includes rehabilitation and getting into shape. After that I should play again, according to plans.”

Is it possible you will recover ahead of time?

“Yes, it is possible. The prognosis is approximate. We’ll need to see what will happen.”

Are you doing any exercise to keep in shape?

“At this time doctors told me that I only need rest. That’s why I didn’t do anything these last few days.”

Will you recover before Jan. 7?

“I hope so, yes.”

That’s the date when the Olympic rosters will be announced.

“Of course I remember. But right now I am trying not to think about it. I need to stay positive to recover from the injury quickly and properly. And then move on to work, to play, to win.”

Some people are saying Columbus will fall completely without Bobrovsky.

“The team answered that – we beat Minnesota 4-0. All guys played really well, and Curtis McElhinney had a shutout. He is a strong goaltender. And I think everything will be OK.”

After the CSKA-SKA game, your former teammates (from SKA) sent you best wishes.

“It is great to hear that. I have special feelings for this club, for the guys and staff. I even keep in touch with SKA’s goaltending coach Jussi Parkkila.”

He also worked with Semyon Varlamov.

“Yes. Once I came to Jussi’s camp in Finland, when I was still with Novokuznetsk. We met there, became friends. He is a very strong goaltending coach.”

It is interesting that the two best Russian goaltenders are trained by the same Finnish coach.

“To be honest, I don’t know what Semyon’s relationship is with Jussi now. As for me, Parkkila really helped me.”

Did the thought of not making the Olympic squad ever cross your mind?

“Everything can happen. Coaches made the decision. In this situation not a lot depends on me.”

Why are there so many injuries to Russian players this season? You, Datsyuk, Malkin, Semin, Bryzgalov…

“It’s tough to say. Injuries happen to everyone and often. The schedule is heavy, tough games, the level of play in the NHL is very high. Last season there were also a lot of injuries. It’s always been like this, and it will stay that way.”

And what can you say about the conspiracy theory put forward by some that the Russians are injured on purpose ahead of the Sochi games?

“I don’t think so. Every NHL team is a huge business. And they are interested in developing their team, their infrastructure, to make sure their leaders are healthy. Why injure someone on purpose?"