2010 Stanley Cup finals: Choosing Leighton over Boucher (poll results)

1 Comment

You’re (probably) aware that the Philadelphia Flyers already made the decision to start Michael Leighton instead of Brian Boucher for what could be their last playoff game of 2009-10 tonight. So, on some level, the “drama” is gone from the debate – although the quiet pro-Boucher minority might come out of the woodwork if Leighton struggles.

Still, we decided to poll PHT readers to see if the hockey public agreed with the choice to make Leighton the starter. The results, as you can see below (click to enlarge), are staggeringly in favor of Leighton. Really, I’m impressed by just how huge the gulf is between the two goalies.


Now, let’s take a look at Leighton and Boucher’s stats, side-by-side.

First, Michael Leighton’s playoff production (via ESPN)


Next, Brian Boucher’s playoff production: (via ESPN as well)


So Boucher played in 12 games and started 10 while Leighton played in 13 games and started 12.

My viewpoint of an “average” start is a save percentage of at least 90 percent. Boucher’s been over 90 percent in five games, with two shutouts and went 6-6 (although he received two losses during relief duty in the Stanley Cup finals, which seems kind of unfair). Leighton hit the 90-or-better mark in 8 games, with three shutouts and went 8-2.

Overall, I don’t think it’s that tough of a decision. Maybe it would be a little spicier if I took a “devil’s advocate” stance and said Boucher would be the starter, but I’ll leave that to someone else.

That’s not to take anything away from Boucher, though. If nothing else, Boucher showed that he has a place in the NHL and re-affirmed the fact he’s among the league’s most reliable backups. It’s pretty clear to me, though, that he should be just that tonight: a backup.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.