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02-10-2004, 04:43 PM
Drake1588's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Originally Posted by Dr Love
The reason they got Burke was because they wanted someone who would willingly take a back seat to Esche, whom Hitchcock has said he wants to see develop into a starting goalie, and Esche has. Clarke and Hitchcock have both said he is the starter, and at the same time Clarke said that if Hackett couldn't go a goalie would be brought in, so this isn't a deviation from the plan. Barring Esche being hurt or his play really falling off (in which case one could argue he's still hurt)--which I don't see happening because he's been consistent all year--I'd be surprized and dissapointed if Burke was the starter in the playoffs. Hitchcock has been openly saying he feels Esche can and will be a #1 since the Cechmanek trade, and ultamitely it is up to him, not Clarke (who could be lying through his false teeth), to decide who will start, and at this point nothing leads me to believe that it won't be Esche. Now of course things can change, but right now, on February 10, as long as he is healthy, Robert Esche will be the starter, and there's no indication otherwise.
I don't dispute the reasoning there, but I think you can interpret the commitment voiced publicly where Esche is concerned as saying he is going to be their #1 at some undetermined point... not necessarily this year. The benefit of that particular pairing cuts both ways. Either should be relatively happy taking a back seat to the other, not merely that Burke would be fine backing up Esche, but also vice versa. Again, time will tell over the next month or two who gets the nod.

Either way, goaltending is in better shape in Philly than it has been for a long time, and that is reason for Flyers fans to be happy, I think.

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