COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Asked what it might be like to represent his country at the Olympics on home soil, Sergei Bobrovsky had to pause and think about it.
And it wasn't the type of pause that effuses uncertainty. It was the type of pause one uses to fully gather the thoughts and emotions that are associated with such a unique opportunity, one that the 25-year-old Bobrovsky wasn't sure he would ever receive.
"It's so special to play in my home country at the Olympics," Bobrovsky told BlueJackets.com. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and I'm so excited. Everybody in Russia is very excited about the Olympics. I can't wait for it."
There's no doubt that his 2013 Vezina Trophy-winning campaign thrust him on to the radar of the Russian Hockey Federation, which earlier this week, announced its 2014 men's hockey team for the Sochi Olympics. He went 21-11-6 last season for the Blue Jackets, but his record in the KHL was equally impressive: before the NHL lockout ended, Bobrovsky went 18-3-0 with four shutouts and a 1.94 goals-against average while playing for CSKA.
Bobrovsky was one of four Blue Jackets named to Russia's final roster (Tyutin, Nikitin and Anisimov the others) and he said he's well aware of and prepared for the high-pressure environment surrounding the tournament.
"Of course, it's really cool for it to be in Russia," Bobrovsky said. "For some people it's their second or third Olympics, but for my first to be in my home country it's very special.
"There's pressure. I like the pressure. Pressure makes every event big."