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Thoughts on Leighton...

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08-28-2010, 02:05 AM
  #1
SgtJoseph
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Thoughts on Leighton...

It seems that most think Leighton will never be nothing more than an average or perhaps below average goalie.Personally i am not completely writing this cat off, and am willing to give him his shot at proving his worth to this club for a few reasons.

1. I think coach Lavy just may see some things in him that many of us do not see ?Perhaps he knows that mike is the type cat that can overcome adversity,and performs best with a chip on his shoulder.Unless you are a real Leighton hater, you gotta admit he certainly came up big when things were not going great more than once during his short tenure as our starter.

2. We have a very well respected goalie coach, and i have to believe his feedback back to Homer, Lavy etc must be on the
positive side as to whether Mike has the tools and skills that he can fine tune through hardwork and coaching to make him a better goalie ?

3.I have to believe that the incredible pressure cooker of playoff hockey that Mike just experienced this past season is an experience that he can learn from, and certainly apply and use toward bettering himself as a #1 goalie ?

4. It is said that freedom is just another word for having nothing left to lose......Perhaps Mike may just play like a man who has nothing left to lose......and step his game up to a level he never thought or we never thought possible.If such is the case, i know there will be those who will immediately call for his head if he has 1 bad game..I hope he plays well, and also hope the fans will be fare as to how he is judged.....

5. And certainly Boosh will get my support as well, because he deserves it after he STONED the rags in the OT shootout !He gets a mulligan for a few bad goals now and then in my book !That alone was EPIC !

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08-28-2010, 02:19 AM
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We have no cap space and a pretty bad GM. That's why he is in goal.

Also, I have a theory that he is a super-evolved mutation of the AIDS virus.

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08-28-2010, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Valhoun View Post
Also, I have a theory that he is a super-evolved mutation of the AIDS virus.
Do tell.

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08-28-2010, 02:56 AM
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IceHot
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It comes down to this.....

Leighton WINS games because he was consistent in letting in only 2 goals or less thus he allowed the team to win much more then not.
Leighton will garnish more wins and better win loss ratio then other goalies with similar save percentage and goals against average (like Emery) because Leighton's game is more consistent and bounces back from the occasional bad game.
Boucher would consistently allow 3 goals or more thus allowing our team to lose more games then win.
Leighton I am secure with, it's Boucher that scares me even as a backup we need to win more then we lose other wise all the games he lets slip is counter productive to Leighton's great win loss total and risks a good playoff spot and home ice advantages.

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08-28-2010, 03:06 AM
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SgtJoseph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceHot View Post
Leighton WINS games because he was consistent in letting in only 2 goals or less thus he allowed the team to win much more then not.
Leighton will garnish more wins and better win loss ratio then other goalies with similar save percentage and goals against average (like Emery) because Leighton's game is more consistent and bounces back from the occasional bad game.
Boucher would consistently allow 3 goals or more thus allowing our team to lose more games then win.
Leighton I am secure with, it's Boucher that scares me even as a backup we need to win more then we lose other wise all the games he lets slip is counter productive to Leighton's great win loss total and risks a good playoff spot and home ice advantages.
You make some interesting points ! And i gotta agree about how Leighton bounces back, sometimes i wondered during the playoffs if anything actually bothered that cat.He either has one heck of a poker face, or nothing really bothers him for very long at all ?

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08-28-2010, 04:04 AM
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dookie88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtJoseph View Post
4. It is said that freedom is just another word for having nothing left to lose......Perhaps Mike may just play like a man who has nothing left to lose......and step his game up to a level he never thought or we never thought possible.If such is the case, i know there will be those who will immediately call for his head if he has 1 bad game..I hope he plays well, and also hope the fans will be fare as to how he is judged.....
I think you made some really good points but if anything that's what's actually scarring me. I think Leights played with this "nothing left to lose"-feeling last season and in the playoffs. He was, afterall, a waiver pick up. For him it pretty much only could get better.
This season he is signed to a two year contract to compete for a starter, I think now he has something to lose and I hope it doesn't get to him.

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08-28-2010, 04:21 AM
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Mr Oysterhead
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This will be fun.....

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08-28-2010, 07:31 AM
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Larry44
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Originally Posted by Mr Oysterhead View Post
This will be fun.....
Leighton can't win. If he goes 25-2-3 in his first 30 games, he'll get no credit for it.

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08-28-2010, 07:41 AM
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I don't love Leighton as our starter but would have been very pleased to see him as a backup or a 1b option. The good: bounces back from a bad goal better than any tender we have had in 10 years plus, generally a "first shot is a save" goalie, big, generally (except game 6 of Stanley cup final games) plays well under pressure.

The bad: could very well be a one year wonder, gives up too many rebounds, post to post is not stellar, often plays too deep in his net, slow blocker.

I find humans in general and especially Flyer fans only remember the most recent play of a goalie. Leighton was in net for the SCF therefore everyone hates him. Boucher was in for game 82 and shut down the Devils therefore he is loved. The reality is that Boucher sucked it big time most of the season (we only needed game 82 to get in because of his horrible goals) and dang near lost the series to the Bruins. Leighton was excellent in the reg season and through most of the playoffs.

The big question though is did Leighton play well enough to get the starting job? The answer is "no. not yet." 1b at best, and he was ready and expecting that. Homer was too focused on Shelly on July 1 to pay attention to other goalie options. Mason or Ellis and Leighton is a combo I could have lived with for sure.


Last edited by jd2210: 08-28-2010 at 10:21 AM.
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08-28-2010, 08:01 AM
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I don't like him as our starter at all. But having said that i think he is working his butt off and tweaking his game this off-season to prove all you naysayers wrong. Time will tell. We might be throwing stuff at our TV watching him suck or the majority of this board will be on his collective jock.. All of you know how we are around here. Flavor of the month. Then lame duck of the month.

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08-28-2010, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry44 View Post
Leighton can't win. If he goes 25-2-3 in his first 30 games, he'll get no credit for it.
Pretty much. Yes the defense in front of him is good. He still has to make the stops. It's a team game.

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08-28-2010, 08:49 AM
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bennysflyers16
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I think we are all willing to give him a chance because we have no choice he is our starter. And he will put up good numbers during the regular season behind our Def. I am glad we play Pitts 1st game in their new building, will be a good test to see how ML holds up to a high powered offense .

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08-28-2010, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dookie88 View Post
I think you made some really good points but if anything that's what's actually scarring me. I think Leights played with this "nothing left to lose"-feeling last season and in the playoffs. He was, afterall, a waiver pick up. For him it pretty much only could get better.
This season he is signed to a two year contract to compete for a starter, I think now he has something to lose and I hope it doesn't get to him.
This was my point exactly.

Leighton was expected to suck coming in last year off waivers, so the lack of pressure increased his performance. The only real pressure he had was finally in the SCF, and he was consistently bad. I think there's a lot of pressure on him this year to perform well because now we expect him to; he's no longer a 3rd stringer playing games, he's our actual No.1 and that comes with expectations. I don't think he can live up to it, but we'll see.

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08-28-2010, 09:53 AM
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My thoughts on Leighton?

If he can ride his confidence I think he'd be a solid backup choice. I would love to hope that this offseason would be enough for him to iron out the issues in his game and become legit, but the fact of the matter is that he is not fast or athletic enough to ever be good. The types of problems that exist in his game are not ones that can be coached away over a single season, and possibly not even a career. I don't think he's ever going to become great, and this myth that he's a young goalie blossoming into an NHL starter is garbage...he's almost 30. And when young goalies just need time and work, you can at least see that they have the right tools; Leighton really doesn't have what it takes to get any better, much less become a true starter. I'll be happy if he proves me wrong this year, but as a goalie and goalie coach looking at him as objectively as possible, I just don't see that he has the required tools to make the improvements that would be necessary.

He is at best a big body who can stop the first shot most of the time, assuming he is focused properly. However, he's not really legit and I'd rather have someone else competing with him for the top job.

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08-28-2010, 10:17 AM
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This is the type of thread I might have an aneurysm in.

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08-28-2010, 01:49 PM
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IceHot
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Originally Posted by jd2210 View Post
gives up too many rebounds
It's called making a save. There's no rebound when the shot goes in the net.
Seriously when you make wicked saves the puck tends to rebound off the goalie and you fault the goalie for those saves, this is not exactly fair especially when it's the complaint on all the goalies.
Furthermore he kept outplaying Brodeur every game against the Devils, so I guess everyone should trash Brodeur right?

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08-28-2010, 01:53 PM
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I think Leighton will be "fine" during the regular season. However its the playoffs Im worried about. No matter what Homer should pick up a decent goalie at the deadline

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08-28-2010, 01:58 PM
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IceHot
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Originally Posted by FlyersCup08 View Post
SCF, and he was consistently bad. .
Brodeur was bad in the playoffs, why?
Answer: because his team left him hang out to dry.
Leighton wasn't bad it was the team we played against and our teams poor play and defense. Also the style of game played by both teams sometimes is more offensive minded and ends up driving up goals against avg's like the games we play against Pittsburgh, defense goes out the window for non stop back and forth play up and down the ice straight offensive hockey.
What kind of goals against avg did the goalies in the all star game have? Why so high all the time? Answer: because it's the best of the best and there is a different style of play taking place that allows for higher scoring thus leaving goalies out to dry for sake of exciting hockey with high scores. This is the kind of Hockey both teams played in the finals and the other team was just better or more lucky at it then we were.
This is why we tightened the Defense, you can't expect to win when leaving your goalie out to dry like that, just ask Luongo.

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08-28-2010, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry44 View Post
Leighton can't win. If he goes 25-2-3 in his first 30 games, he'll get no credit for it.
That depends on Leighton. If he gives up terrible goals and terrible rebounds, then people will still hate him.

If he is consistent, and playing the way a starting goalie is supposed to, then he'll likely get support.

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08-28-2010, 02:19 PM
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If he plays the way he did last season and the team in front of him plays solid defense and scores goals, Leighton will do fine. I've been saying this for weeks (if not months) now, but Leighton on this team is a solid enough goalie to win games, and that is all that matters. Doesn't matter how ugly the wins are, how close they are, how many goals he lets in, etc. As long as they get the W, that is all that matters.

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08-28-2010, 03:22 PM
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I've posted this multiple times, but what the hell, I will post it one more time since it's Saturday and these stats just dominate.

Leighton played 27 games last year during the reg. season

- 20 of them were against bottom half-teams in the NHL in goals per game.

- He played 3 (that's 3) games against top-10 NHL offenses.

The first time he ever played a good offense for an extended period was the SCF Finals. I mean, Montreal and Boston were both bottom-5 teams in NHL offense.

So basically, Leighton played an absolute cupcake schedule and did pretty well. Most of us predicted that as soon as he played a good team, he would get slaughtered. I specifically remembered predicting that the SCF Finals would hinge on how much exactly Leighton would suck and lo and behold, he sucked enough to get us beaten.

There is zero rationale for making him our starter.

End of story.

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08-28-2010, 03:40 PM
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Andrew Knoll
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There are plenty of negative things to say about his track record, technique and focus, most of which have been labored already.

So instead I will say something positive and that is that he really did come a long way in a short time last year once he arrived in Philadelphia. I didn't see him much real early in his career but I saw him often with Carolina. There he could string together a couple good periods but one bad goal would wreck his confidence and turn him into a sieve. Now he can bounce back from obstacles better and he can handle more regular duty much better as a result.

He still doesn't perform that consistently as a starter but previously he was not even all that reliable as a backup.

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08-28-2010, 03:53 PM
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CerpinTaxt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyHigh View Post
I've posted this multiple times, but what the hell, I will post it one more time since it's Saturday and these stats just dominate.

Leighton played 27 games last year during the reg. season

- 20 of them were against bottom half-teams in the NHL in goals per game.

- He played 3 (that's 3) games against top-10 NHL offenses.

The first time he ever played a good offense for an extended period was the SCF Finals. I mean, Montreal and Boston were both bottom-5 teams in NHL offense.

So basically, Leighton played an absolute cupcake schedule and did pretty well. Most of us predicted that as soon as he played a good team, he would get slaughtered. I specifically remembered predicting that the SCF Finals would hinge on how much exactly Leighton would suck and lo and behold, he sucked enough to get us beaten.

There is zero rationale for making him our starter.

End of story.
Just for fun, I looked up some of Brodeur's stats against top 10 offenses in the NHL.

I took the top 10 scoring teams, based on goals, from NHL.com(they had WSH, VAN, CHI, SJS, PIT, COL, ANA, PHI, LAK, and BUF in that order), and used game by game from yahoo starts

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/...1D_MAo93divLYF

The stats go 13 W and 12 L-OTL.

So yea, not surprising that its pretty close to even for W and L against good teams. I just did this to show that goalies will generally have trouble with better teams.

The funny thing is, Brodeur did very well against WSH and PIT (#1 and #5) but did poorly against #8 PHI (both season and post season). This, in the very least, is an indication of how well a team does against another team, and not just one player against the whole team.

edit: just for reference, i am not saying MFL is going to go 13-12 against the good teams alone. i did this to show that being top offensive team doesnt generally mean youre better then every other team. if that were so, WSH should be winning the cup every year.

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08-28-2010, 03:59 PM
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Andrew Knoll
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The point is that when Leighton was playing bad teams, he looked serviceable, when he was playing good teams, he looked awful.

Brodeur has had years where he's been much better against top competition and as you pointed out the two most "feared" offenses he did the job against last year.

Pittsburgh was terrible against good competition last year and I am sure Fleury's numbers reflect that. Then again, they were a pretender last year, could not beat the trap, only won with their two main guys going strong against weaker teams.

Leighton is an uncertain commodity and the only certainties are his limitations, which are significant.

I'd like to see the Flyers bring in some sort of insurance now (*gulp* Theodore?) and certainly they should be looking at some way to bring in a guy like Niemi or a guy in the final year of his deal by trade.

If Edmonton was keen on Hartnell, maybe time to revisit that with a cheaper player coming back. They killed the deal though so that is probably a zero.

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08-28-2010, 04:13 PM
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CS
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The point is that when Leighton was playing bad teams, he looked serviceable, when he was playing good teams, he looked awful.
I just want to point out, that those "bad" teams were not only teams that made the playoffs, but one was our division champion, another was the ever-tough Boston Bruins who were sparked by the return of Savard, and the other was a team that knocked out the two "favorites" (though I didn't suspect either would make it far).

He looked bad against ALL of those teams because he was always bad.

He's still bad, if not terrible.

That said, some people are forgetting we were playing some really good competition.

The problem is mostly when we're facing a true offense. When it comes to that, I'm more afraid of some of the Western teams who have serviceable, though clearly not great, depth on the blueline as well as a deadly offense like Vancouver, Detroit, or San Jose than I am of a team like Washington.

I think it's more than possible to get to the Finals again, but at that point, we'll need to compete in a shootout unless our defense really has improved that much.

My biggest hope is that we can spread out the minutes with Meszaros - O'Donnell. If we can get all our pairings playing a solid 20 minutes a night, we might be able to rip apart the postseason with a "fresh" defense (at least fresher than other teams).

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