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Report: Brian Boucher will start for Flyers in Game 3, with Michael Leighton backing him up

Apr 18, 2011, 12:15 PM EDT

Brian Boucher, Sergei Bobrovsky AP

The debate might rage on, but the Philadelphia Flyers came to a decision about their starting goalie tonight. The team will try to ride the hot hand by giving Brian Boucher the start, according to CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio.

If you were hoping that the team would be patient with Sergei Bobrovsky, there aren’t many good signs today. In fact, Panaccio reports that Michael Leighton is the one with the full locker rather than “Bob.”

This indicates that Leighton will back up Boucher, rather than Bobrovsky.

In other words, after allowing three goals in an abbreviated start against the Buffalo Sabres in Game 2 and losing Game 1, Bobrovsky dropped from No. 1 on the Flyers’ depth chart to No. 3. Of course, these situations are fluid, which is evident in Bob’s current predicament.

While I understand the Flyers don’t have a lot of time to waste here, it’s still surprising how quickly they pulled the plug on Bobrovsky. Yes, he’s a young goalie who is unproven in the playoffs and there’s no denying his slow start. Still, he was a revelation for the team this season, guiding them to an Atlantic Division title as he won 28 games and put up solid individual numbers (91.5 save percentage, 2.59 GAA).

If nothing else, Peter Laviolette isn’t being wishy-washy about his netminding situation. These are the kind of moves that open the floodgates for people who like to blame all of Philadelphia’s problems on their goalies, but if the Flyers end up winning this series behind Boucher, they’ll gladly put up with the hecklers.

  1. kellyb9 - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    I know what the Flyers have in Boosh and Leighton.. which is exactly why I want them to start Bob.

    • balewsquare - Apr 18, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      As a Hawks fan I loved facing Leighton last year. One quick or questionable goal and his mentality was shot. I loved knowing we’d always have a chance with Leighton and his tough-as-glass mental game.

  2. macjacmccoy - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    I dont think your seeing this cleary. Lavs isnt giving up on Bobs and Bobs wasnt the number 1 goalie either. I think Lavs has been pretty clear all year that the Flyers dont have a number 1 goal. That he goes with who he feels on a day to day basis gives the Flyers the best chance to get a win. And if you have watched the Flyers this year its pretty clear that that’s exactly what hes been doing.

    Just because Bobs isnt in the lineup tonight doesnt mean Lavs gave up on him. All it means is that he thinks in game 3 Boucher gives the Flyers the best chance to win. Expierence shows that Bobs could easily be the starting goalie in game 4. So I think all you writers, analysts, and talk radio hosts need to get a hold of yourselves and look at the situation for what it truely is, 1 game.

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