Sergei Bobrovsky: “Philadelphia is a great city” (Photo © Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Russian rookie Sergei Bobrovsky is surprising many with his play in the NHL for Philadelphia Flyers. In this interview with the press club of his former team, Metallurg Novokuznetsk, Bobrovsky talked about his new life in Philadelphia, about the sensations of the first game and about his mask.
RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation:
Sergei, how did you settle down in Philadelphia? Do you live alone there?
Bobrovsky: “I live alone for now, waiting for my girlfriend. There are some problems with the American embassy. It’s not easy to get a visa to the USA! My parents and my sister are going to visit me after the New Year.”
How are you doing with the English language?
Bobrovsky: “I wouldn’t say that I have big problems with it. I get what they say me, but it’s hard to talk myself. My team mates are good guys, there is a great atmosphere. In such an environment I don’t feel myself out of place because of the language. I arrived three weeks before the training camp’s start and they assigned an English teacher to me and I studied almost every day. Now that the games are started there is no free time and I cope with the language myself. I have to go nowhere, all the people around me talk in English!”
With whom do you talk more? Did you befriend someone already?
Bobrovsky: “I talk mostly with Nikolay Zherdev, he’s the only one I can actually discuss with. There is also Oskars Bartulis from Latvia, he talks Russian as well. With the other guys I can only exchange a couple of phrases, things like ‘Hi, how are you?’ ‘All good, thanks’.”
What is your ipression of the city?
Bobrovsky: “The team’s training center isn’t in Philadelphia, but in a nearby city called Voorhees. I live in a hotel not far. This is why I didn’t have the chance to visit all the important parts of the city. Philadephia is a great city. There are a lot of great buildings, I put one of them on my mask. Also the arena is great.”
Talking about your mask, how long did you think about what to draw there? And why did you choose that? Didn’t your team mates asked about the tower of Novokuznetsk’s fortress depicted on the mask itself?
Bobrovsky: “My father helped me! I thought a lot, I don’t even know for how long. And when they asked, I replied that the tower is the top attraction of my city!”
Did you think to get a spot with the Flyers already on the very first game of the season?
Bobrovsky: “I trained for the season with the team, getting ready to play. This is why when I got to know that I was going to play it wasn’t for me like a bolt from the blue. But for many fans it was unexpected.”
What did you feel playing against Pittsburgh and players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin?
Bobrovsky: “It was nothing new before the game. You can’t waste time on emotions. But after the game I was, of course, very happy! I’m glad that the team won and that I had a good game.”
If it’s not a secret, how many messages did you get on your phone and/or social networks after the game?
Bobrovsky: “A lot, I don’t even remember. It was very pleasant.”
Do you miss your home?
Bobrovsky: “I have no time to miss something. Here it’s a whole another life, and I’m deeply immersed into it!”