Thursday, August 26, 2010

Predictions and "Grade-ictions" Series

Michael Leighton
2009/2010 Regular season stats: 27GP (with Flyers), 16W, .918 SV%, 2.48 GAA
2010 Playoff stats: 14GP, 8W, .916 SV%, 2.46 GAA
Grade: B+

Let's see, which Mike Leighton do we want to look at? Well, I guess we'll ignore the Carolina Hurricane Leighton (who had an .848 SV% and a 4.29 GAA) and start with the Flyers regular season Leighton. He had a .918 SV% and a 2.48 GAA and was nothing short of Stonewall Jackson. He was on fire until he had an ankle injury that forced him to miss the final two months of the season and the first series and a half of the postseason. And then there's postseason Leighton.

 At times, No. 49 was "Leights out" and then at other times the opposition lit the red "Leight" behind his net like a pinball machine. In the conference quarterfinals, except for the first period of game seven, Leighton was dominant. In the Eastern Conference Finals, except for game 3, Leighton was dominant. But in the Stanley Cup finals he was, simply put, bad. All you need to do is look at the game winning goal in game six to see how ineffective Leighton was. He was letting in softies left and right (and down the middle). He just wasn't the same goalie that had been in net for the Flyers before the Finals.

It's hard to tell which Leighton will be playing for Philadelphia in 2010. Maybe a full offseason with Jeff Reese will shore up his 5-hole troubles, or maybe it won't and he'll be the netminder we saw against the Blackhawks. Who knows?...but I'll take my best guess.

2010/2011 Predictions: 60GP, 35W, .909 SV%, 2.61 GAA

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