What a wonderful hockey match last night. Hat tip to Ross Creek for the photograph suggestion.
Flyers lose Game 5. Chris Pronger is a joyous -5 on the night. Dustin Byfuglien collects 5 points, sending Hawks fans into a frenzy. The Hawks chased Leighton from the net for the second time in the Cup Finals and confidence in the starting goalie is reaching a low point at the absolute worst time possible for Philly.
Goalies are a strange lot aren’t they? It always amazes us the thin line between awesome and terrible and how much of it has to do with confidence on a given night. Enter Michael Leighton and the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have started five different goalies this season and the duties of getting the Flyers through the post season fell on Leighton’s shoulders and he is arguably one of the biggest reasons that the Flyers find themselves in Game 6 of the SCF10.
But Leighton has struggled mightily in the Finals with a 4.02 goals GAA and .867 save percentage. He has been lit up soundly and has been pulled in two seperate occasions during those same Finals oscillating between hero and zero so often that some Flyers fans have found themselves wishing for the return of steady Tommy Soderstrom between the pipes.
Think that a gigantic GAA and being pulled is enough to put serious doubt as to Leighton starting in G6? Sprinkle in the fact that he wasn’t even expected to be in the top two goaltenders in the system – he started the year behind Boucher and Emery – and you have what scientists refer to as "a dilly of a goaltending pickle."
The end result is that Brian Boucher could see action again tomorrow night despite being "also not very good" and that leaves the blood of some Flyers fans stone cold and the brain of Flyers Coach Peter Laviolette a tad frazzled.
We can’t even decide of Leighton is a good goalie, or the latest tender that Pronger has been able to trick into being awesome for a post season. Either way, you have to give the advantage to the Hawks.
Who would you start if you were in charge? If we were making the call we would immediately suspend Chris Pronger and go with a well rested Ray Emery.
But that is just us.