PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers have been stymied in finding the answer to the most valuable position on the ice…the goaltender.
Brian Boucher allowed five goals and some soft rebounds before he was replaced in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Bruins. The Flyers made their fourth goalie change in eight playoff games, a staggering number for a team that spent a chunk of the season leading the East.
Boucher has been the goat as a starter and a star reliever — he won two games off the bench versus the Sabres.
He wants that Game 2 start.
“I will prepare the same way I do every day and we will see what happens,” Boucher said Sunday. “I think there are only so many times you can make a change before you run out of nine lives.”
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette declined to reveal his Game 2 starter.
Boucher said Laviolette has reasons other than ineffectiveness for benching the goalie.
“It’s always a wakeup call for the team,” Boucher said. “You always seem to get a bit of a boost after there’s a goalie change. I think that’s why coaches are so apt to do that. That seems to be one of the last things they can do, as opposed to yelling at the guys or calling a timeout.”
Laviolette would love to have a No. 1 guy and stick with him. Consider, Phillies starting pitchers have three complete games, one less than the Flyers’ goalies have in the postseason. The Flyers also failed to earn a shutout this season.
Sergei Bobrovsky was no better in limited action, allowing two goals on 10 shots.
Bobrovsky won the No. 1 spot to open the postseason after a 28-win rookie season. He lost Game 1 to Buffalo 1-0, then was lifted for Boucher in Game 2 after he allowed three goals on seven shots. That was the last anyone saw of the goalie known as Bob the remainder of the series.
Because of Philadelphia’s goalie woes, the Flyers are in a familiar spot playing from behind in a series.
Last year’s comeback against the Bruins put them in the record book. They trailed Chicago in the Stanley Cup finals 2-0 before losing in six games. In the first round, Buffalo led 1-0 and 3-2, forcing the Flyers to win the final two games.
“I don’t know what it is,” center Danny Briere said. “The past couple of years it seems we need adversity to start playing better. This needs to be an eye-opener because we’ll be done in a hurry if we keep playing that way.”
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