Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Orange crush(ed)

Michael Leighton surrenders the Cup winning goal to Chicago, living down to a fine tradition of Philly goaltending

I liked them better when their goaltending sucked.

Which was, over the last 30 years, most of everything past Pelle Lindbergh and Ron Hextall.

Mark LaForest. Wendell Young. Marc D'Amour. Bruce Hoffort. Dominic Roussel. Tommy Soderstrom. Stephane Beauregard. Frederic Chabot. Garth Snow. Jean-Marc Pelletier. Brian Boucher.

Roman Chechmanek? He was pretty good for a few seasons.

Jeff Hackett. Sean Burke. Maxime Ouelette. Robert Esche. Antero Niityymaki. Martin Biron. Martin Houle. Neil Little. Ray Emery. Johan Backlund. And of course, last year's playoff hero/goat, Michael Leighton. The Philadelphia Flyers have had a deep, rich history of sub-par goaltending performances, by both promising rookies and veterans who went to the City of Brotherly Love in hopes of extending their careers. And over the years, none of it has worked.

Maybe, that is, until now.

The Flyers come into tonight's game against the Habs 9-0-1 in their last ten games, and have scored 44 goals (a +25 goal differential) over that span. But what's really helped the Flyers is the solid goaltending turned in by rookie Sergei Bobrovsky. In 14 starts, he's 11-2-1, with a .934 SV% and a GAA of 2.01. In only one of his last nine games has he surrendered more than 2 goals... and in that one game, the third goal was in an overtime loss to Washington on November 7th.

As for the Habs? They've been playing excellent hockey, and Carey Price was named the league's number one star this past week for rolling off scintillating wins against Vancouver, Boston, and Carolina... but they're still awaiting work on the severity of the injury to Andrei Markov. The powerplay was starting to round into form before Markov re-injured his surgically repaired knee, so it'll be interesting to see if they can continue the upward trend without their General.

Amexandre Picard is in to take the place of Markov. Let's hope that they didn't blow their goal-scoring load against Carolina, and saved enough for a win tonight against the hottest team in the NHL.


The Stud makes one of his 41 saves vs. the Flyers. Photo courtesy Phil Carpenter/The Gazette

UPDATE: Habs win! Carey is a monster with a 41-save shutout of the (former) hottest team in the NHL. The rest of the team wasn't too shabby, either.


No comments: