‘All About Bob’ to ‘What About Bob’ in 24 Hours

Five goals against Ryan Miller is no easy task.

The Philadelphia Flyers offense came alive in game two of their round one match-up with the Buffalo Sabres. The only problem was that the Sabres were able to match the Flyers throughout their first period onslaught, making the difference between game one and game two about as opposite as possible. For lack of a better comparison, it was night and day.

Bobrovsky was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals on seven shots. Awful? Absolutely, but it is not as though the outing was impossible to rebound from, especially considering the ability that Bob has shown this season to bounce back from losses and play well.

Tonight Brian Boucher will start in net. After a solid performance in his game two substitution and a general rumor that the players like to play in front of Boucher more than Bob it is not surprising that game three features the veteran goalie starting between the pipes. What is surprising is the backup situation. Naturally one would assume that Bob would simply put on a hat, take a seat and work the bench’s door, waiting for his time to avenge himself.

So much for that thought! Michael Leighton has been named the backup goalie for the first away game for the Flyers. I will give you some time to put your eyes back in your skulls and close your jaw. Once again, Leighton is the backup for game three. A player who has faced 36 NHL level shots this season, where he allowed 4 goals against in his only appearance, and was subsequently sent down to the Phantoms for some “conditioning training”.

Sporting a 2.22 goals against average and a 93 percent save percentage sounds impressive, except when you take into account it was all done in the AHL, the minor league. Add to that the fact that he only went 14-12 and his promotion from Phantoms starter to backup goalie for a team with Stanley Cup aspirations boggles the mind. Let’s be honest, the last vivid memory Flyers fans have of this guy is the soft goal he let up against Patrick Kane that allowed the Blackhawks to skate away with the Cup in the Flyers building. If something happens to Boucher can he really be counted on after a third of a year in the AHL and that memory surely in his head?

Peter Laviolette is a great coach, a king of the timeout in last years playoff run, and trusts Leighton ever since he picked him up off of waivers from Carolina last season, but this decision not only influences this season, but many to come. If the Flyers view Bobrovsky as a possible NHL stud goaltender down the line they should strongly question this decision internally.

Not allowing the kid to prove himself will become a detriment to his overall confidence level and may eventually come back to bite the organization in the rear.

That being said, hopefully Boucher finds his playoff magic, Leighton will not have to be used, and everyone can celebrate a spirited effort in a Flyers victory tonight.

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