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07-30-2013, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BernieParent View Post
Based on the NHL highlight videos (available on youtube), here is my inexpert breakdown of Leighton's play in games 1-3 of the SC Finals. I have tried to be as objective as possible and drawing on my scrub-league goaltending experience. As well, I took note of highlight saves, which we all know are subjective though in this case come from an objective (ie, NHL network) source:

Goal 1 – (Flyers up 1-0)
• One-timer from high slot; Leighton slow to react
Goal 2 (tied 1-1)
• SH breakaway, coughed up horribly by Coburn at the Hawk blue line; Leighton lets it slip between his arm and body. So-so goal.
Goal 3 (Flyers up 3-2)
• 2-on-1 brought about by a bad play by Betts (missed puck and poor position to pick up a Hawk) and an even worse change by one of the defensemen. Sharp picks the top corner short side, bad positioning by Leighton: too far back in the net and trapper down by his knee
Goal 4 (Flyers up 4-3)
• Defensive breakdown allows a pass from behind the net, and puck pinballs (I think, rewatching a few times) into the net. Leighton put the paddle down on the initial attempt, but inexplicably ends up at the far post when the puck goes in.
Goal 5 (tied 4-4)
• One-timer from the slot to high glove side. This is the first on which arguably Leighton had no chance.


Boucher sliding save on a redirect

Goal 6 (tied 5-5)
• Broken play, Hawks defenseman keeps puck in Flyers zone. Pass to a streaking forward, who dekes a challenging Boucher out and slips it by him.

Notably, there were several highlights of Niemi saves, and one Boucher save, but none for Leighton

Near-miss where floater handcuffed Leighton and fell on top of his pad; ref blew whistle

Highlight saves
Niemi 8
Leighton 5

Goal 1 (tied 0-0)
• Leighton stops the initial shot, but neither he nor Krajicek control the short rebound. Unfortunate, but not a particularly bad goal.
Goal 2 (Hawks up 1-0)
• 30 seconds after the first goal, Eager gains the zone and shoots a wrister from above the faceoff circle, partial screen. Horrible goal.

Leighton down on all fours trying to cover a puck that is about 15’ away from him.

Highlight saves
Niemi 6
Leighton 1

Two highlight saves by Niemi just before Briere’s opening goal

Goal 1 (Flyer up 1-0)
• One-timer from the point. Leighton slow to move.
Goal 2 (Flyers up 2-1)
• One-timer from the point off a faceoff win by the Hawks. Leighton waved at it as it went by him. Another poor goal.
Goal 3 (tied 2-2)
• Kane breakaway. Great moves and great shot. No fault on Leighton here.

I'll try to do the same with games 4-6 ASAP. From these reminders – and the caveat that these are just the highlights – Leighton has not helped the Flyers much at all. At the other end, while Niemi has given up some poor ones, he has also come up with a few sparkling saves.
To be fair no one is absolving Leighton for his part in the cup loss. He's only arguing that Richards and Carter were as much to blame as Leighton was, so this analysis while appreciated doesn't really contribute to the debate if you want to even call it that .

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