NAME: Brian Boucher
Regular Season Statistics: 26 Games Started – 9 Wins, 18 Losses, 3 OTLs. 2.76 GAA, .900 SV % and 1 Shutout.
Analysis: When the Flyers inked Brian Boucher to a two-year deal last off-season, I, for one, was very excited. Here was Boosh, a guy that had been the focal point of a magical run nearly ten years prior, and now back between the pipes with the Orange and Black. Originally, the plan was to have Boucher back up the Flyers’ other free agent goaltender signing Ray Emery, but that ended up being far from the situation by season’s end. Emery was hobbled by injuries, and, when given the starting reigns for the Flyers, Boucher quickly joined his former goaltending partner on the injury shelf. Still, Boucher was given a second chance when Michael Leighton went down in a March game against Nashville, and he made the most of it from that point on. Boosh ended up back-stopping the Flyers to the playoffs, putting the ultimate exclamation point on the Flyers’ playoff-clinching win against the New York Rangers by stoning an Olli Jokinen attempt in the final shot of a shootout at the Wachovia Center. Sure, his statistics don’t blow you away, but he was was a back-up, and he did help to jumpstart the Flyers’ dramatic playoff run by getting them into the postseason in the first place.
Postseason Statistics: 10 Games Started – 6 Wins, 6 Losses. 2.47 GAA, .909 SV% and 1 Shutout
Analysis: Here’s a fun fact for all of you: Brian Boucher, statistically speaking, was the best goaltender in the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He played absolutely out of his mind and displayed some of the best goaltending I’ve ever seen in a playoff series as the seventh seeded Flyers pulled off a surprisingly easy 4 games to 1 upset of the second-seeded New Jersey Devils. He finished up the first round series with an incredible 1.60 Goals Against Average during the five game series, and looked poise to have a second storybook Flyers playoff run within his reach. Of course, then the Boston series happened, and after falling behind the B’s three games to one, Boucher suffered what looked to be a season-ending sprained MCL when Miro Satan fell on him in Game Five. Unfortunately, Boosh wouldn’t be around when the team made history against the Bruins in Game Seven, but he certainly wanted to make sure that they playoffs hadn’t heard his name for the final time. He rehabbed heard and recovered from the injury ahead of schedule: just in time to return to the Flyers for the 2010 Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. Boosh would appear in two Finals games, both in relief of Michael Leighton, and wasn’t all that spectacular. Still, his heart and desire to play were almost overwhelming from a fan perspective.
FINAL GRADE: B-
Reasoning: The only things that brings down Boosh in my eyes here are his statistics. The heart and desire to win in #33 cannot be judged and, quite frankly, it isn’t possible to get a correct assessment on them. He is the ultimate team player – a rare attribute for a National Hockey League goaltender, who don’t always think about others when it comes to playing time. I found it really interesting the amount of times this season that Boucher said, when asked about whether or not he’d like to play in a particular game, that he’d be happy with whatever situation put his team in the best position to claim victory. Many players say that in today’s sports world, but few are rarely believable. Boucher falls into that hallowed category. Hopefully, Boosh can right the statistical horse this season, and make some more great memories for the Flyers and their fans.