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March 6, 2017
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky notched his 34th win of the season in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils, breaking the team’s franchise record single-season record, per Sportsnet Stats. He has 18 games remaining to add to that mark.
Steve Mason set the previous record of 33 wins in 2008-09, but he also took 20 losses and seven ties or overtime losses. Bobrovsky also sports much better stats than Mason did during his campaign, posting a 2.09 GAA and .929 save percentage versus Mason’s 2.29 GAA and .916 save percentage.
The 28-year-old netminder experienced a down year in 2015-16, posting a 2.75 GAA and .908 save percentage in an injury-shortened campaign. His turnaround this season has been a key piece of the team’s success.
Columbus currently sits in a tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Washington Capitals. Only the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks have more points in the West.
He’s turned up his play even more recently, posting two straight shutouts to begin March. The Russia native has also allowed just three goals total in his last four starts. Two of the three wins over Bobrovsky’s last four starts came against teams currently slated to make the playoffs—the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers.
The Blue Jackets have made the playoffs just twice since the franchise’s inception in the league prior to the 2000-01 season. While they aren’t locked into a playoff berth yet, the club sits in a great position with just 18 games remaining in the regular season.
Perhaps the play of Bobrovsky down the stretch and into the postseason will result in Columbus’ first postseason series win in team history.