Saturday, August 28, 2010

Predictions and "Grade-ictions" Series

Brian Boucher
2009/2010 Regular season stats: 33GP, 9W, .899 SV%, 2.76 GAA
2010 Playoff stats: 12GP, 6W, .909 SV%, 2.47 GAA
Grade: B+

Boucher was brought back to Philadelphia for his second go around with the team to be the back-up to Ray Emery. Yea, that's right. You may have forgotten it, but Razor Ray was once the starting goalie for this team. Well, Emery went down with what now looks like a career-ending injury and Boosh was the one who came in to replace him.

When Boucher took over for Emery, the Flyers were in the midst of a 3-13-1 losing stretch. On the nights in which the offense scored, the goalies were sieves. On the nights in which the netminders would let up one goal, the offense would put up a goose egg. Nothing seemed to work for the team, and when Boosh went down with a finger injury, the Flyers were left searching for answers.

Well they got their answer (and no, it wasn't Allen Iverson). It was Michael Leighton. But then he went down with an injury and Boucher had to come back into the lineup and played the Flyers right into the playoffs on the regular season's final game. He then clearly outplayed future hall-of-famer Marty Brodeur in the conference quarterfinals en route to a 4-1 series win and everything looked good for Philadelphia.

But the semifinals series with Boston was a different story. The Flyers went down three games to none and were on the verge of extinction when in game four, Boucher went down with a double knee injury. And had Michael Leighton not come off of injury the day before game four, the Flyers most likely wouldn't have made sports history.

All-in-all it was kind of tough to grade Boosh. I pretty much added his regular season and his series against the Devils together and divided it by two. I think Boucher will get a number of starts this season, especially if Leighton struggles...if he's even on the Flyers.

2010/2011 Predictions: 20GP, 8W, .914 SV%, 2.54 GAA

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