The Florida Panthers goaltender might look like he just came back from a trip to the post office, and he might sound like he’s talking about winning a neutral-site preseason game in front of a few hundred curious onlookers, and it might seem like he’ll doze off at any moment, but really, this is everything he’s ever wanted. “I’m enjoying this,” he said in the aftermath of the Panthers’ 2-1 overtime victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final, which gave them a 2-0 series lead over the Hurricanes heading back to South Florida. “I’m enjoying playing this hockey, this atmosphere. The building here is crazy and it’s so loud and it’s so fun to play. With how hard the guys work, it’s a privilege to be in net at the time.” It was almost tough to buy that first part, about the fun and the excitement and the enjoyment. Surely he is, but the guy is just so calm, so chill, so mellow, so seemingly over all this. His unflappable demeanor is one of the things that makes him so good in net, but in the cauldron of tension and emotion that is the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s almost unnerving. But that last part, the “privilege” part, there’s no denying that. Because he won’t stop talking about it. After Game 1: “I’m really fortunate to be in this playoff. I’m happy to be here, very happy to be part of this team.” Sources close to Bobrovsky suggest he’s happy to be here. More on this story as it develops. But hey, why shouldn’t he be? This is a man who’s lost that net multiple times in recent seasons. To Spencer Knight. To Chris Driedger. To Alex Lyon. Tough pills to swallow for a man with two Vezina trophies, tough calls to make for a team paying Bobrovsky $10 million a year. How many times has Bobrovsky been written off? How many times has his contract been ridiculed? How many times have the Panthers been laughed at? Well, nobody’s laughing anymore. Not after this heater to end all heaters. At 34 years old, Bobrovsky is playing as well as he ever has, and on the game’s biggest stage. He stepped in for an overmatched Lyon and beat the mighty Bruins three straight times to win the first-round series in seven games. He basically ended the high-octane Maple Leafs as we know them, giving up just 10 goals in five games and sending them tailspinning into an offseason reckoning. And against a Carolina team that the analytics say should have won the first two games of the series by a combined score of about 7-3, per Hockey Viz’s expected goals numbers, he’s stopped 100 of 103 shots. “I mean, he’s just incredible,” said Aleksander Barkov, whose preposterous, game-tying between-the-legs fakeout against Antti Raanta in the second period will be replayed forever. “Every game, every day, people are talking about him. And he deserves even more than that. He’s been our backbone and he’s been giving us a chance to win every game. Whether it’s a one-goal game or two-goal game, whatever — he’s there for us. He’s making big saves. (And) he’s having fun doing it.” Now, it’d be folly to try to list all the big saves Bobrovsky has made through these two games because in a series this tight, they’re all big saves. But one that stood out Saturday came about 14 minutes into the second period, when he slid to his right at the last second to fend off Teuvo Teravainen’s redirect of a perfect Martin Necas centering feed. What made the save all the more incredible was that Bobrovsky totally bit on Necas’ little pump fake. But he got it. He gets everything, it seems. Snipes and slappers, breakaways and two-on-ones, one-timers and delays — everything the Hurricanes throw at him. “You’ve got to force him to make saves,” said Carolina’s Seth Jarvis before the game, calling Bobrovsky “super hot right now.” “We just want to make him uncomfortable.” It’s not working. Even when there are wrestling matches in his crease, Bobrovsky looks unerringly, eerily calm. “It’s awesome,” teammate Carter Verhaeghe said. “He’s the hardest worker on the team. He does everything right off the ice. He prepares like I’ve never seen anybody else prepare. And mentally, he’s so in the moment.” In an era of giant goalies, the slight Bobrovsky has a reputation for needing more recovery time than most, for being unable to handle the burden of being an everyday goalie during the relentless grind of the playoffs. But after playing 139 minutes and 47 seconds into the wee hours of Friday morning, it was his counterpart, Frederik Andersen, who was given the night off in favor of Raanta. Panthers coach Paul Maurice never even considered sitting Bobrovsky. Not the way he’s going. Bobrovsky said he felt quite good actually, crediting Florida’s athletic trainers and sports-performance department for aiding his recovery. He thanked them. He thanked his teammates. He thanked God. Bobrovsky really is just happy to be here. Happy to be back in his net, back in control of his destiny, back on top of his game, back in the environment every professional athlete lives for. The clichés are genuine and well-earned. He’s thankful for all of it. “It’s the best time to play hockey,” he said. “I’m just happy to be in the net at this time.” Subscribe to The Athletic for in-depth coverage of your favorite players, teams, leagues and clubs. Try a week on us. Mark Lazerus is a senior writer for The Athletic covering the Chicago Blackhawks and the NHL. He spent six seasons on the Blackhawks beat for the Chicago Sun-Times after covering Notre Dame’s run to the BCS championship game in 2012-13. Before that, he was the sports editor of the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkLazerus