Posts Tagged ‘Brian Boucher


FLYERS: Boucher’s Robbery on Armstrong is NBC’s Save of the Night


…This save ended up being a huge turning point in the game as the Leafs had just scored minutes earlier to make it a 2-1 game. If Boucher lets this one by him, who knows what happens. Still, Boosh held strong and made about as big a save in about as big a spot as their was in this game. In the end, it resulted in two more points for the Flyers.


FLYERS: Panaccio – Boosh Should Start in Playoffs


…It’s still February – this topic hasn’t even crossed my mind. However, Panotch makes some valid points on behalf of Boosh, most notably that his puck handling skills are FAR superior to that of Sergei Bobrovsky. In fact, Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle both commented that they are able to jump-start their offense more and break out easier when Boosh is in net simply because he can get the puck settled and to them quicker than Bob can.

Obviously, there are intangibles and reasons as to why Bob has struggled with it: bigger ice surface in the KHL, goaltenders handling the puck isn’t nearly as common, etc. Still, he’ll need to improve upon that if he wants the nod over Boosh come playoff time. Personally, I haven’t made up my mind yet, and I really don’t care – both of these guys have been legit this season and I’ll be fine with whoever is in net.


FLYERS: Tweet – Boucher in Net Tonight

…Boosh is 13-6-2 with a .922 save % and a 2.25 GAA this season. He has won his last two starts – Feb 5 vs. Dallas and Feb 10 vs. Carolina – allowing one goal in each game. The Lightning have seemed to have Sergei Bobrovsky’s number this season, so starting Boucher tonight seems like a logical move.


FLYERS: The Goaltending Situation as Explained by VERSUS


Thanks to Mr.FlyerGuy on Youtube for this video.


FLYERS: Colaiacovo’s Winner Gives Flyers First Loss in 2010-2011

Brian Boucher deserved a better fate. The Flyers as a team, quite frankly, didn’t.

The Orange and Black dropped their first contest of the 2010-2011 season, a 2-1 overtime decision at the hands of the St. Louis Blues last night at the ScottTrade Center. The fact that the Flyers were even able to get a point out of this game was an accomplishment in itself, because it’s hard to believe that many thought the deserved the single point, let alone two.

Danny Briere and Matt Carle celebrate Briere's third period marker

The Flyers took 10, yes, 10 penalties, and thanks to some solid special teams play were able to kill off all but one St. Louis powerplay, a man advantage that resulted in the first game of the contest by the Blues’ Brad Boyes, who tipped an Erik Johnson shot past Brian Boucher and made it 1-0 St. Louis in the first period. The score would remain that way for much of the contest, as the Flyers, for the second straight game, struggled to really get their feet under them until the third period of play. Still, once Philadelphia got into the flow of the game, the contest became an exciting one.

Thanks to a terrific pinch effort by Matt Carle – who was the Flyers best defenseman, by far, last night – a rebound off a Jaro Halak save came loose and right onto the stick of Danny Briere, who punched it home for his second goal of the season to even the game up at 1. The Flyers cranked up the intensity from that point forward, turning the tables on the Blues as they outshot them in the period by a total of 14-6. Brian Boucher stood tall when he needed to and the Flyers did an excellent job of killing off some late St. Louis powerplays to keep the game deadlocked heading into the overtime frame.

In overtime, a magnificent individual effort from Danny Briere resulted in the Flyers sniper catching iron on a snipe of a shot that beat Halak. Instead of taking home a two points they wouldn’t have necessarily deserved, the Flyers were left to scramble back to the other end of the ice and defend against the Blues ensuing offensive rush. Brian Boucher wouldn’t be as fortunate as Halak.

Boosh stopped 23 of 25 shots in the overtime loss

After some great pressure from Alex Steen – who looked terrific all night long – and Barret Jackman in the Flyers’ end, a loose puck popped right to Carlo Colaiacovo who ripped a slapper past Boosh and sealed the victory for Saint Louis. The Blues celebrated their season-opening victory, while the Flyers were forced to sit on the plane ride back from Missouri to Philadelphia and reflect on the fact that they let two points slip away in a situation no one really saw them getting any.

In the grand scheme of things, however, the Flyers will look back on this roadtrip and deem it successful. Two hostile environments to start the season, two home openers for two teams with playoff aspirations and rowdy fanbases, and the Flyers snatched up three of a possible four points to begin the 2010-2011 campaign. They got some lucky bounces along the way, and they certainly could have easily came out with zero points combined in their first two contests, but you won’t find a Flyers fan or player now that’s not content with the fact that the Flyers have three points after their first two games of the season.

The Orange and Black raise the 2010 Eastern Conference Champions banner tomorrow night against the Colorado Avalanche at the Wells Fargo Center.


FLYERS: Player Report Cards – Brian Boucher

NAME: Brian Boucher

POSITION: Goaltender

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.


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.


FLYERS: Stanley Cup Final Series Recap

The incredible run of the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers came to a crushing halt Wednesday night on the Wachovia Center ice. Patrick Kane slipped an overtime marker past Michael Leighton and the Blackhawks claimed their first Stanley Cup since 1961 – leaving the Flyers 0 for their last 6 in Stanley Cup Final appearances. It’s a tough pill to swallow for the Flyers and their fans, and while the wound is still fresh today, it is healing slightly a little better than it was yesterday. The Flyers enjoyed a remarkable ride en route to the franchise’s first Cup Final appearance since 1997. As a seven seed, they knocked off the two-seeded New Jersey Devils in five games in round one, made history when they came back to eliminate the Boston Bruins in seven games in round two, and dispatched the Montreal Canadiens in five games in the Eastern Conference Final to claim hold of their first Prince of Wales trophy in 13 years. This was a team that was 14th in the Eastern Conference at one point this season, and made a coaching switch midway through the year that started with the team losing seven of it’s first nine under Peter Laviolette. However, they bought into his system, they kept believing, and now they are going to be able to raise a banner at the Wachovia Center next season. Although it may not be the ultimate goal, I think we can all agree that “2010 Eastern Conference Champions” is pretty sweet.

Now, onto my series recap. Obviously, all the points here will be Flyers related, so when my Series MVP isn’t a ‘Hawk, don’t get all crazy on me. I know this, and I did it purposely. I’ve broken it up into three categories: 1) Series MVP, 2) Series Turning Point, 3) Why the Flyers Lost. I left out the “What has to change for the next series” category, because, well, there is no ‘next series’. That is, until, next postseason….

1) SERIES MVP: Danny Briere, Right Wing.

Many will argue Ville Leino should be here, and many others will say Scott Hartnell was more deserving. However, in my opinion, it was the third part of that line that was easily the most important – and certainly the most valuable. Danny Briere finished the postseason as the leading point scorer in all of the National Hockey League. He had twelve points in the six game series against Chicago – easily making him the highest scoring player in the series, and finished the playoffs with 12 goals and 18 assists. While many – myself included – look for more from Briere in the regular season because of his gigantic contract, there’s certainly no denying that he earns his paycheck when the year matters most: the playoffs. His speed and skill were heavily on display throughout the entire postseason, and I think that despite his regular season struggles, Briere has completely endured himself to the Flyers’ fan base with his postseason performance. He made the most of his first career appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and let’s hope it’s in the cards for him to make a few more return trips there in the Orange and Black.

2) SERIES TURNING POINT: Game Four’s Final Minutes.

I understand the reasoning as to why Game Five may be many people’s turning point for this series, but it was not. Instead, this series took a turn for the worst for the Flyers with less than ten minutes remaining in the Flyers’ 5-3 Game Four victory over Chicago. Sure, the Flyers won the game, and ultimately evened up the series at two games a piece, but that wasn’t the bigger story. The more important, and far more telling fact of Game Four was that in the period’s final minutes, ‘Hawks coach Joel Quenneville switched up his lines, and Chicago absolutely dominated the play. The Flyers couldn’t clear the puck from the defensive zone if their lives depended on it, and Chicago smelled blood with their newfound momentum. They carried that same strategy that came up just short in Game Four into Game Five, and ran the Flyers literally out of Chicago and on the next flight back to Philadelphia. It was certainly a much tighter game in Game Six – hence the score being tied after sixty minutes and heading into overtime – but with their new line combinations, Chicago still dominated heavily and controlled the play for long durations of the game. The new lines gave Chicago new life, and ultimately a Stanley Cup. We can thank the furious push from the ‘Hawks in Game Four for re-installing the confidence needed to be successful in the playoffs and tight situations. It’s the reason there’s a parade in Chicago today.

3) WHY THE FLYERS LOST: Antti Niemi was (slightly) better than Michael Leigthon/Brian Boucher.

Game One: 5 goals, Game Two: 1 goal, Game Three: 4 goals, Game Four: 5 goals, Game Five 4 goals, Game Six: 3 goals. Antti Niemi was not magnificent. In fact, most of the time – aside from Game Two – he wasn’t even consistently all that good. However, he managed to somehow be just a little bit better than the Flyers goaltenders Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher. Boosh relieved Leighton twice in tight, high scoring games in Chicago (1 & 5), but took home the loss in each contest. Niemi was never pulled, although no one would have questioned Quenneville had he done it at specific points in the series. Instead, the Finnish Fortress was just simply OK. And, with how the goaltending went in this series, OK was “good enough”. Niemi made two critical stops in Game Six to Leighton’s one. Leighton’s toe save on Jonathan Toews with under six minutes to go paved the way for Scott Hartnell’s goal that tied the game in regulation. However, Niemi’s breakaway save on Simon Gagne early in the second, and his acrobatic flop to stop Jeff Carter in the waning minutes of the third period were truly the game savers. In the end, I must reluctantly say, it was Niemi>Leighton/Boucher.

The Philly Phour

August 2017
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