Bob should stay put - for now

UNIONDALE, NY -- How can Peter Laviolette do anything else but keep riding the hot hand?

Sergei Bobrovsky was sensational in goal during Thursday’s 3-2 win over the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.

It was his second straight start and second consecutive stellar performance. Bobrovsky also was in goal for Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Carolina.

“I thought Bob was terrific,” Laviolette said.

So did his teammates.

The tone was set early when Bobrovsky stopped a penalty shot by Michael Grabner just 2:49 into the game.

“I thought that was huge,” said Wayne Simmonds, who scored the Flyers second goal. “Grabner is a good player and scores a lot of goals and Bob was really composed and I thought he made a huge save and that just gave us confidence.”

By the way, according to Flyers public relations statistical guru Brian Smith, it was Bobrovsky’s first career save of a penalty shot after previously being 0-for-3.

Actually, there was another save in the second period on Grabner that was even more impressive, when Bobrovsky snared a backhander.

Everybody knows that Ilya Bryzgalov has the nine-year, $51 million contract, and nobody expects him to have an extended stay on the bench, but right now Bobrovsky is giving the Flyers no choice but to keep him in goal.

This is not exactly earth-shattering advice or going out on the limb. It’s simply common sense. Bobrovsky is playing well and really has been all season.

The Flyers have to feel good about having a goalie that they know they can not only win with, but who can win them games when they aren’t at their best.

Laviolette never likes to announce any lineups until the day of the game and even then it doesn’t always happen.

Still, it would be a surprise if Bobrovsky isn’t in goal on Saturday.

He has yet to start three games in a row this season, although Bobrovsky appeared in three consecutive games, one in relief of Bryzgalov and the other two starts, all in November.

It’s now just past the midway point of the season. There is plenty of time to get Bryzgalov back into the swing. It’s just that now isn’t the time with the way Bobrovsky is performing.