Sun May 30 07:47pm EDT
Not that it matters.
"I don't have a take. It is what it is. That's the coach's decision. We play the same way whether Bouch is in the net or Leights is in the net. It doesn't matter, it shouldn't matter to us in front of him. We need to play better in front of him whoever is in the net. That's the bottom line for us. It doesn't matter."
Darn right, sir. The goaltending for this team has proven to be beside the point all postseason. There was nothing miraculous about Leighton's performance in the rally against the Boston Bruins and the conference finals win over the Montreal Canadiens, other than the perceptions established by his thin résumé.
He played solid, mistake-free hockey, and was quite good against the Canadiens at times; but the team in front of him played outstanding systematic hockey, and that's why the Flyers are playing for the Stanley Cup.
Like Pronger said: It doesn't matter who's in goal if the Flyers are going to defend their zone with the focus of picnic ants chasing a drop of cola. Check the Blackhawks' goals in the 6-5 Game 1 victory: How many resulted from the Flyers dropping sticks or over-committing or blowing an assignment?
Leighton gave up five goals on 20 shots, and then Boucher gave up one on 12 shots, which was the game-winner. Yet Leighton will start Game 2 because his teammates supported him unanimously on Saturday night; because he's shown resiliency after bad performances; and because Boucher is better used as a momentum-changer if necessary, during or after another Leighton clunker. Like Rich Hoffman said on Philly.com: It should be Leighton, but with a short leash.
But again: Leighton or Boucher, Boucher or Leighton ... it won't matter if the Flyers play like finals neophytes in front of them in Game 2.