Sergei Bobrovsky is ready to put last year behind him.
It was not a good start for the Blue Jackets and the same goes for the 27-year-old goaltender, who struggled out of the gate and then battled injuries. He was recently named Team Russia's starting goalie for the World Cup of Hockey following a tremendous pre-tournament performance.
Here are some of his thoughts on the World Cup, the upcoming season and more:
What did you do this summer to prepare for Russia's camp?
I just prepared myself as I normally do. I did some on-ice and off-ice. I prepared myself for this season, and it's all about the process, so I worked on it.
Was it in your mind to work hard this summer so the Blue Jackets get out to a better start?
It goes the same direction with the World Cup and a good start with Columbus. I prepared myself for the World Cup - that's the biggest thing for me right now. All my focus is on that.
Was it easy to put a tough year in Columbus behind you?
It's not easy. It takes some time and energy, too. I took some time off to reset, re-focus, and prepared myself for a new year and a new season. There are new challenges, and everything starts from the blank list.
What did you do to get away from the game?
I had a couple of weeks vacation on the sea and the beach. Relaxed, spent some time with my wife and enjoyed it a lot. Then I came back to work to start practicing, step-by-step, and prepare myself.
Any changes to your preparation with (the addition of Nelson Ayotte as Blue Jackets' High Performance Consultant)?
I don't think there is any sense to talk about details of my preparation. Yeah, there are some things I'm going to change because it's not a good thing to have a groin injury three times in three years. It definitely concerns me. I worked a lot this summer to prevent that. We will see how it goes.
Do you feel 100%?
I feel great right now.
Are you feeling better or different with these new changes to your preparation?
Overall I feel good. Like I said, it's about the process and how it's going to go; how it's going to work. We will see. It comes down to me a lot, (and) how I handle these things.