Since Michael Leighton was re-signed, both Flyers writers and fans worried about the team’s goaltending situation. Now that Michael Leighton has a back injury, people are once again concerned about the Flyers goalies. I don’t see much of a reason to worry.
Perhaps GM Paul Holmgren is not being completely honest and, when Leighton is set to hit the ice again on Thursday, we’ll find out that he’s not ready yet. So it goes. When it comes to injuries, the comments of Holmgren, much like those of other people in his position, are intentionally vague and open-ended. Let’s not read into it too much at this point. There’s no reason to drink the Kool Aid or think the sky is falling. Why? Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher are in the same class of goalie.
If the real Michael Leighton was the one who lead all postseason goalies with a GAA of 2.46 and 3 shutouts, then Brian Boucher was nearly as good with a 2.47 GAA and 1 shutout. However, is the real Leighton is the goalie with pedestrian career numbers of .902 SV% and 2.94 GAA, then Boucher should look no less appealing with a .900 SV% and 2.72 GAA.
No matter which goalie is in net, the Flyers have a stacked defense and that should ease the pressure on the goalie. There isn’t much of a reason to think that the Flyers need to hurry to sign a goalie, trade for one, or rush Sergei Bobrovsky. Assuming Johan Backlund is ready at the regular season, he would be the most logical choice to serve as the backup.
Boucher is a perfectly capable goaltender who, depending upon your perspective, is either no better or no worse than Leighton and this, more than anything else, is likely why Holmgren is not too concerned about Leighton’s injury.