With all our will…we will…use all our goalies?

This article can be found published on Chicks Who Give a Puck.


Friday night saw the return of Michael Leighton on Philadelphia ice since they lost the Stanley Cup June 9. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Friday night saw the return of Michael Leighton on Philadelphia ice since they lost the Stanley Cup June 9. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In only five playoff games, the Philadelphia Flyers have now used three different goaltenders. It started with the promising rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, moved to the veteran Brian Boucher, and Friday night, to last season’s hero/villain Michael Leighton. Why a hero and villain? Ask Flyers fans and they will tell you the same thing: he saved the season – no one can doubt that – but he will unfortunately always be remembered for the soft goal he let in to lose the Stanley Cup.

The series against the Buffalo Sabres started off with a 1-0 loss, but Bobrovsky picked up his strong play from before and silenced the critics. In the second game, those critics were at it again when he let in 3 goals on 7 shots. In came Boucher after the third goal. His performance earned him the starting spot.

The third game shocked Flyerdelphia when it was announced Leighton would be Boucher’s backup as Bobrovsky was sent to watch the game as a healthy scratch. Boucher stepped up in the next two games and the Flyers returned home with a 2-2 series split.

Game 5, however, sent fans groaning as Boucher let in 3 goals on 11 shots, with the first two coming low along the goal line in the first 3:51 of the game. Enter Leighton, who hasn’t played with the team since Dec. 30 – which was his lone NHL game of the season and first since losing the Cup.

Leighton gave the Flyers a chance to drag themselves out of the 0-3 hole, and they took advantage. The team regained control in the second and third with James van Riemsdyk, Andrej Meszaros and Danny Briere each scoring to tie the game in front of Leighton who stopped all 16 shots he faced.

The game felt like a giant flashback to last season’s run when they fell 0-3 in Game 7 to the Boston Bruins. It didn’t help that in this game van Riemsdyk started the comeback – just like against Boston – and Briere tied the game – just like against Boston. But unlike the Boston game, the Flyers could not capitalize on a power play to take the lead in the last 2:30 of regulation.

This time around, they could not complete the comeback as they fell in overtime. Tyler Ennis jumped on a rebound left by Leighton and crushed the hopes of the Flyers and their fans.

Now the Flyers face elimination Sunday and the biggest question surrounding the game seems like one that never leaves Philadelphia: Which goalie will it be and can he get it done?


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Categories: Ice Hockey, NHL, Sports, Stanley Cup Playoffs

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