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Flyers goalie Michael Leighton hurts back, time to worry in Philadelphia?

Sep 25, 2010, 2:12 PM EDT

michaelleighton2.jpgLost in last night’s game action, Flyers goalie Michael Leighton left last night’s preseason game against the Maple Leafs after playing 65 minutes worth of game action with a strained back. With Leighton having played through most of the game, missing out only on the shootout, speculation is picking up amongst Flyers faithful about how serious things could be. Philly.com’s Frank Seravalli gets word from Flyers GM Paul Holmgren about what’s up with Leighton’s back including one stunning revelation.

“We’ll see how he is [today],” Holmgren said. “But we probably really won’t know what’s going on until we get back to Philadelphia and get him checked out.”

While Holmgren is optimistic that Leighton will be fine by next week some time, he also revealed that this isn’t the first time Leighton suffered the injury; he just re-aggravated it last night.

Leighton apparently strained his back this summer while exercising. It was unclear whether he suffered the injury before or after signing a 2-year, $3.1 million deal on June 30.

“He had some issues in the summer from working out that kind of flared up on him,” Holmgren said. “But since training camp started, no, it hasn’t been an issue. That’s why we’re hoping that it’s a short-term thing.”

So, let’s get this straight. The Flyers re-signed Leighton after a great playoff run, then found out either before or after the free agent signing period began and still opted to not make absolutely sure they were going to have more-than-capable goaltending this season.

That sound you hear is coming from Flyers fans bashing their head into the wall yet again when it comes to the team’s puzzling personnel decisions regarding goaltending. Travis Hughes at Broad Street Hockey doesn’t trust the Flyers as far as he can throw them when it comes to discussing injuries.

Seravalli notes that if it’s causing Leighton problems after just three periods of game action, are we in for something long-term here? I tend to agree with his skepticism, if nothing else. After all, how many times has an injury been downplayed off the bat by the Flyers, only to find out later that yeah, it was indeed something serious.

I don’t trust what the Flyers have to say when it comes to injuries anymore, and this is no exception.

All of a sudden, the Flyers missed attempt at landing Marty Turco in the off-season and seeming lack of contingency plan starts to look even more questionable if Leighton is going to be dealing with a potentially nagging injury all year. The Flyers are only rolling with Brian Boucher as Leighton’s backup and while there are a couple of intriguing young guys waiting in the wings in Johan Backlund and Sergei Bobrovsky, for a team that made the Stanley Cup Finals last year to think they can get away with that kind of motley crew in goal is daring if not just plain stupid.

Then again, if there’s anything that’s been an undeniable truth in life over the years for the Flyers it’s questionable goaltending. Death, taxes, and Garth Snow starting Stanley Cup Finals games. Perhaps Flyers fans are just numb to all of this by now.

  1. David - Sep 25, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Can you say Theodore anyone???

  2. Little Tommy - Sep 25, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    When it comes to personnel moves, they can now empathize with Bear fans. I’ve scratched my head so many times, my hair is falling out! LOL

  3. NYRFTW - Sep 25, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    No big loss for the flyers. Afterall he’s only a backup at best! It’s time to get used to Bobrovsky, who looked good the other night. Even when Leighton comes back he will probably lose his job to Bobrovsky at some point during the season.

  4. ICDogg - Sep 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    Have no fear. The Sergei “Bob” Bobrovsky era has arrived!

  5. BROADSTREET - Sep 26, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Who cares put Pronger in net they are going back to the finals.

  6. grimjack - Sep 27, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    They should hurry up and get a scarecrow before the stores run out. A scarecrow would stop the puck just as well as the other guys mentioned. Or maybe an orange traffic cone.

  7. diane - Sep 27, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    How soon you all forget! Was it not Brian Boucher who carried the team when Leighton got hurt??? It was only after Boucher himself was injured that Leighton got back between the pipes.
    Maybe if the defense become more reliable, ALL lines of the defense, then the goalie issue wouldn’t be such a problem!
    But have no fear: the Flyers WILL be a contender for the Cup. And you can take that to the bank!

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