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08-03-2010, 10:53 AM
  #1
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Flyers Goaltending situation laughing stock of the NHL

I am sick and tired of having to read comments like these but sadly it is warranted!

All during the regular season and finals in particular I had to hear the pot shots and now the goaltending continues to be the butt of all jokes in the NHL.....

Boucher and Leighton are two jokes but the biggest BUTT is Holmgren....

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Philadelphia Flyers

In what might be the toughest division in hockey, the Flyers have pushed themselves to the top with bold moves like the signing of talented but mercurial forward Nikolai Zherdev and the acquisition of solid blueliner Andrej Meszaros. Character winger Simon Gagne was a victim of the salary cap, and there are questions about the goaltending (that's never been said in Philadelphia, has it?), but the Flyers boast an enviable mix of talent, veteran experience and grit, which right now sees them as the team to beat not just in the division but in the conference. It will be interesting to see whether the goaltending tandem of the summer, Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher, is the same tandem come trade deadline time.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/n...-boys-atlantic
and this unpleasant truth.....

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And letís be frank: Niemi won the Cup with the Hawks. He didnít win it for them. As good as he was in the playoffs, as much as he created an emotional attachment with the fans, he wasnít dominant in the final. He didnít win the Conn Smythe. He was just good enough, which means better than the Philadelphia Flyersí Michael Leighton(notes).

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_yl...nc-turco020810

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08-03-2010, 10:58 AM
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who cares? Last season no one saw the Habs in Eastern Conference final, no one could thought Leino would be good....

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08-03-2010, 11:01 AM
  #3
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Bill Meltzer weighs in:

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Bill-...-3-10/45/29588

Quote:
If the Flyers were truly being honest with themselves, they would also have realized that subpar goaltending was the number one reason -- not the only reason, but the single biggest one -- that the club lost the Stanley Cup Final to Chicago. I will not take away any of Michael Leighton's accomplishments in the comeback against Boston or in shutting out Montreal three times in the Conference Final. He outplayed both Tuukka Rask and Halak in those series and deserves full credit, just as Brian Boucher cranked up a tremendous series against New Jersey in outplaying Martin Brodeur. In the Final, however, Leighton played poorly in a series in which four of the six games were decided by one goal.

It's the big picture that counts and, in the big picture, the Flyers goaltending was not good enough to get them past an opponent with multiple potent scoring lines. All of Philly's own depth and valiant, never-say-attitude went for naught. Improving the defensive depth this off-season can only help, but it will still ultimately come down to the goaltending.

If Michael Leighton can be trusted to get the club through Eastern Conference playoff rounds that, sooner or later, are likely to have the club square off against the potent Washington or Pittsburgh attacks in the conference semis and/or conference final, the club can get back to the Stanley Cup Final and handle whichever club comes out of the West. If he can't , it doesn't matter what else the team does in other areas, they won't go as far as they did last season.

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08-03-2010, 11:23 AM
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i love the threads that go "and we finally see what happens with leighton against a team that can score" LOL

did anyone stop to think the reason that leighton wasnt so good in the finals was because the hawks were really effing good? like the #1 team... Lets face it, they were (due to contracts being on there last year and many other fluky factors). Will they be that good this year? NO

now the flyers however, have more or less the SAME team this year as last year! Our team was much more sustainable, and our skilled roster is not due to the perfect storm of draft picks and players being vastly underpaid. (although this year may be that year.)


on to goaltending:
with our defense, how much of a difference do you guys think there will be between leighton and nabby or leighton and turco? 1mil difference, 2? 3?! i think not.
Our defense and team play is so good that the goals against are (usually) deflections or impossible to save goals, so it wont matter that much. Were some of the goals in the finals soft? YES, but that goes for both sides, and every goalie can cough up a soft goal occasionally. The worst goals against leighton were the eager goal, and the 3 goals in game 7 of boston. But no one complains about those 4 goals. that being said, Leighton played fine in the finals against a team that was much better than any other team in the league (for just that year), and lost in OT of game 6! since then that team (chicago) has blown up and our team has gotten better. I like our chances with leighton.

also: defense wins cups.
last 3 exits:
2008 Pittsburgh, kimmo out with blood clot in foot, coburn puck to the face. Leaves our defense pretty thin.
2009 lack of defensive depth blows 3-0 lead to pittsburgh (not goaltending issue) parent, sbisa, carle, alberts, jones, timonen, and coburn. (also coburn/carle were a bit less experienced)
2010 lack of defense out of top 4 cause bruised and hurt timonen/pronger/parent to play big minutes (not big minutes for parent, but he was hurt)

going deep into the playoffs requires you to have 8 dmen that are CAPABLE. it is nice that 5 of our dmen are solid, but when 1 or 2 of the top 6 are hurt, instead of pushing them every game, giving them a 2 game rest can mean good things for series in the future.

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08-03-2010, 11:30 AM
  #5
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If Boucher and Leighton didn't play for the Flyers, there is a good chance they wouldn't even be in the NHL

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08-03-2010, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckrr View Post
with our defense, how much of a difference do you guys think there will be between ... leighton and turco? 1mil difference, 2? 3?! i think not.
I think the difference is worth $1.5M actually, but oddly enough, Turco costs LESS than Leighton.

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08-03-2010, 11:38 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckrr View Post
i love the threads that go "and we finally see what happens with leighton against a team that can score" LOL

did anyone stop to think the reason that leighton wasnt so good in the finals was because the hawks were really effing good? like the #1 team... Lets face it, they were (due to contracts being on there last year and many other fluky factors). Will they be that good this year? NO

now the flyers however, have more or less the SAME team this year as last year! Our team was much more sustainable, and our skilled roster is not due to the perfect storm of draft picks and players being vastly underpaid. (although this year may be that year.)


on to goaltending:
with our defense, how much of a difference do you guys think there will be between leighton and nabby or leighton and turco? 1mil difference, 2? 3?! i think not.
Our defense and team play is so good that the goals against are (usually) deflections or impossible to save goals, so it wont matter that much. Were some of the goals in the finals soft? YES, but that goes for both sides, and every goalie can cough up a soft goal occasionally. The worst goals against leighton were the eager goal, and the 3 goals in game 7 of boston. But no one complains about those 4 goals. that being said, Leighton played fine in the finals against a team that was much better than any other team in the league (for just that year), and lost in OT of game 6! since then that team (chicago) has blown up and our team has gotten better. I like our chances with leighton.

also: defense wins cups.
last 3 exits:
2008 Pittsburgh, kimmo out with blood clot in foot, coburn puck to the face. Leaves our defense pretty thin.
2009 lack of defensive depth blows 3-0 lead to pittsburgh (not goaltending issue) parent, sbisa, carle, alberts, jones, timonen, and coburn. (also coburn/carle were a bit less experienced)
2010 lack of defense out of top 4 cause bruised and hurt timonen/pronger/parent to play big minutes (not big minutes for parent, but he was hurt)

going deep into the playoffs requires you to have 8 dmen that are CAPABLE. it is nice that 5 of our dmen are solid, but when 1 or 2 of the top 6 are hurt, instead of pushing them every game, giving them a 2 game rest can mean good things for series in the future.
Here's the deal, dude. The Hawks did not greatly outplay the flyers by any stretch of the word. Leighton did not steal any games in that series and he was given more than enough goal support to win the series.

Lookit, I'm a huge proponent of building from the front back. HOWEVER, the flyers already have a great D and a great O, it's time to stop adding to these pieces. Moreover, because these two aspects of the flyers are so great, the goals that get scored are generally pretty damn weak. Upgrade leighton to Turco or Ellis and watch what happens.

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08-03-2010, 11:42 AM
  #8
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Originally Posted by Richyrich View Post
Here's the deal, dude. The Hawks did not greatly outplay the flyers by any stretch of the word. Leighton did not steal any games in that series and he was given more than enough goal support to win the series.

Lookit, I'm a huge proponent of building from the front back. HOWEVER, the flyers already have a great D and a great O, it's time to stop adding to these pieces. Moreover, because these two aspects of the flyers are so great, the goals that get scored are generally pretty damn weak. Upgrade leighton to Turco or Ellis and watch what happens.
turco didnt want to play for us, he shot down our offer. Also, the differnce between leighton and ellis is not worth having an incredible 3rd pairing dfense (imo)

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08-03-2010, 11:46 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckrr View Post
2010 lack of defense out of top 4 cause bruised and hurt timonen/pronger/parent to play big minutes (not big minutes for parent, but he was hurt)

going deep into the playoffs requires you to have 8 dmen that are CAPABLE. it is nice that 5 of our dmen are solid, but when 1 or 2 of the top 6 are hurt, instead of pushing them every game, giving them a 2 game rest can mean good things for series in the future.
since we are not allowed to "fix" posts why dont you add in goaltending was the issue like you did when you said goaltending was not the issue in prior years which it wasnt.
I agree our bottom pairing was exposed, but some of those goals Leighton gave up were down right hideous. A ECHL goalie should have stopped them. The flyers scored twenty-two goals in the Final and it wasnt good enough. sad.
Oh and dont give me this defensive positioning ********. our goaltending was horrible in the Final. I dont care what Chicago did against Vancouver, San Jose. I care about what happened with my team. Luongo and Nabokov didnt look like a backup AHL goalie. Leighton did and thats all he is. period. end of story.
but we know what happens, when Leighton gives up a goal from the nuetral zone people will blame "defensive positioning"

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08-03-2010, 11:51 AM
  #10
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Top 5 Forwards in the NHL
Top 2 Defense in the NHL
Maybe top 40 goalie in the NHL ???

WE ARE ****ED !!!!!

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08-03-2010, 11:56 AM
  #11
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The thing I find most annoying is when they say that "the Flyers are ignoring the goalie position" (whoever the Flyers are suppose to be) while really it's just Paul Holmgren since that's his job.

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08-03-2010, 11:58 AM
  #12
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If we had a real goalie we'd be a wrecking ball of a team.

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08-03-2010, 11:58 AM
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If we had a NHL Caliber goalie we'd be a wrecking ball of a team.
Fixed for you !

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08-03-2010, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneFullHolmgren View Post
but we know what happens, when Leighton gives up a goal from the nuetral zone people will blame "defensive positioning"
Or if Gary Dornhoefer was still the color analyst for the Flyers he would say the goalie was screened! A mean everytime there was a replay he would say the goalie was screened and many times there was no screen..the goalie just effed up. He was probably the biggest Flyers goalie apologist of them all.....luckily they got rid of him as he was going senile with each season.

Anyway..I agree with Meltzer's assessment. The Blackhawks were not superior to the Flyers..sure they forechecked better and were more sustained with their attack but that's why the Flyers needed Leighton to be the "best penalty killer" as Meltzer pointed out. Instead, he was a momentum killer! The Flyers had to work real hard to get their goals and Mr Softie would let in a killer goal and whitewash some of his better periods. The whole series was pretty much a series of inches and the Flyers and Leighton in particular gave up the most ground and hence the result. I mean Leighton wasn't even average the whole series..he played below avg. He regressed in his fundamentals and even played with a lack of confidence. Again, Holmgren said that although it wasn't completely his fault that the Flyers lost the cup he didn't do much to give his team a chance to win. Halak did so against Wash and Pitt and then he was avg against the Flyers but he didn't put up a Leighton finals effort that is for sure.

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08-03-2010, 12:05 PM
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Honestly, I'm not even excited for the start of the season this year.

Effing joke really.

Bill Meltzer is totally right.

I don't care if terrible goaltending behind an awesome team can win the ECF...I care about winning the Cup. As it stands right now, we will not win. I obviously hope that I'm wrong.

I want to know what is going through management's mind...."hey we could be dominant this year with this stacked team and a good goalie"..."yea but lets make it interesting like usual...maybe we can bring it down to the last game of the year and squeeeeeeeeeek in through a lucky shootout bounce"...."yea yea, that sounds like a great idea, cheers"..."ok, so it's done, we'll keep the goalie situation a complete disaster, and we'll keep the rest of the team good so we can make things really suspenseful and fun....great idea, I love making me some decisionz...cheers"

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08-03-2010, 12:10 PM
  #16
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Homer had the chance to move Carter for the goalie and he refused to move him. Having Leighton as the guy and Boucher is the backup is rolling the dice bigtime. I would almost they rather put Backlund in the net and let him try and win some games.

As much as the defense is going to be tops in the NHL a goalie still needs to stop the puck, while I do not think Leighton is the worst choice he is a journeyman backup goalie, that is what he is at each stop on his journey, last season it was an opportunity that he took advantage of, I can only hope he recreates that because if not this team is screwed.

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08-03-2010, 12:15 PM
  #17
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Originally Posted by TOCxNJ View Post
Honestly, I'm not even excited for the start of the season this year.

Effing joke really.

Bill Meltzer is totally right.

I don't care if terrible goaltending behind an awesome team can win the ECF...I care about winning the Cup. As it stands right now, we will not win. I obviously hope that I'm wrong.

I want to know what is going through management's mind...."hey we could be dominant this year with this stacked team and a good goalie"..."yea but lets make it interesting like usual...maybe we can bring it down to the last game of the year and squeeeeeeeeeek in through a lucky shootout bounce"...."yea yea, that sounds like a great idea, cheers"..."ok, so it's done, we'll keep the goalie situation a complete disaster, and we'll keep the rest of the team good so we can make things really suspenseful and fun....great idea, I love making me some decisionz...cheers"
I'm excited for hockey because I always because it's hockey. I also think that we should relatively dominate the regular season barring some sort of epic meltdown in net (because that's what it would require for this forward and defensive group to not win).

I'm not excited at our post-season chance though or for our games against offensive power-houses in the regular season.

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08-03-2010, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDoom View Post
Anyway..I agree with Meltzer's assessment. The Blackhawks were not superior to the Flyers..sure they forechecked better and were more sustained with their attack but that's why the Flyers needed Leighton to be the "best penalty killer" as Meltzer pointed out. Instead, he was a momentum killer! The Flyers had to work real hard to get their goals and Mr Softie would let in a killer goal and whitewash some of his better periods. The whole series was pretty much a series of inches and the Flyers and Leighton in particular gave up the most ground and hence the result. I mean Leighton wasn't even average the whole series..he played below avg. He regressed in his fundamentals and even played with a lack of confidence. Again, Holmgren said that although it wasn't completely his fault that the Flyers lost the cup he didn't do much to give his team a chance to win. Halak did so against Wash and Pitt and then he was avg against the Flyers but he didn't put up a Leighton finals effort that is for sure.
This is a great synapsis but I would say one thing. The Hawks were a better prepared team mentally. They played at the top of their game for most of the season, not just for a period of 16 games. This is the mental approach this team needs to take and I wonder if some players in the locker room have the capacity to sustain that. If the team goes dry on the goal scoring and Walker is sitting on the bench while Gagne is scoring 40 goals this season Homer is going to have to take the heat.

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08-03-2010, 12:27 PM
  #19
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If Boucher and Leighton didn't play for the Flyers, there is a good chance they wouldn't even be in the NHL
This is really all that needs to be said when discussing the Flyers goalie situation. With a legitimate starting goalie, we are easily one of the top 5 teams in the entire NHL. With Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher patrolling the crease, we'll be lucky to be one of the top 5 teams in the Eastern Conference. Seriously, is there any other GM in the league who would truly think Leighton/Boucher is good enough to compete for the Stanley Cup? Let's not discount how ridiculously lucky we were to face 3 of the 4 lowest scoring teams that participated in the playoffs. To project future success based upon how the Leighton/Boucher tandem performed in the first 3 rounds of the playoffs is going to result in a complete and utter disaster that will ruin the 2010-2011 season. It's almost like Homer thought to himself, "No one thinks we can win with minor-league caliber goalies? Well, we did for 3 rounds in the playoffs! Ha! I'll show everybody!"

If there's any silver lining to this, it's that if Leighton/Boucher falters this year, there's absolutely no reason why Homer should be allowed to keep his job. Which, of course, means he'll be our GM for the next 5-10 years.

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08-03-2010, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartsiephan View Post
This is a great synapsis but I would say one thing. The Hawks were a better prepared team mentally. They played at the top of their game for most of the season, not just for a period of 16 games.
This is true and if this upcoming season we have to hear the same broken record of "we have to play 60 minutes" more times than necessary since obviously their are lulls to any season...well I'm going to tear my hair out. That meme has to be uttered very sparingly this upcoming season and I suspect Laviolette will try and make sure the 60 minute excuse is not reflexive like last year....

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08-03-2010, 12:36 PM
  #21
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The nice thing is that if all goes well, we're going to have a legit starting goalie in at least 2 years time. (Knocks on wood)

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08-03-2010, 12:38 PM
  #22
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Originally Posted by might2mash View Post
I think the difference is worth $1.5M actually, but oddly enough, Turco costs LESS than Leighton.
and Turco painted himself into a corner where he only had ONE team going after him. very evident when you "turned" down a ghost $2million dollar offer and then accept a lesser offer a few days later.

Turco better be looking to hire a better PR guy or a better agent, unless he was truly the one making comments cause he screwed himself over royally.

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08-03-2010, 12:42 PM
  #23
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What can you do?

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08-03-2010, 12:47 PM
  #24
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What can you do?
wait for the Brian Boucher contract extension this season

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08-03-2010, 01:17 PM
  #25
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I cant take anything away from what Leighton did for this team this year. He came in as a waiver claim and was thrown into the starting role on a team that was greatly underachieving, and played very well. Then he came back from injury and again was thrown into the starting role in the middle of a stanley cup run and played very well.


I think the reason his play fell off during the Blackhawks series was he was tired more than anything. The most games leighton has ever started in a season is 33...and that was in 03/04. He has never had to endure the workload of a full time starting NHL goalie, in the regular or post season. I dont doubt his talent as much as his inexperience. If the organization feels that he came into his own this year and can perform for them, then fine, I have no problem with that. The problem is they dont have anything to fall back on.

Bringing in Ellis, Mason, Biron, Turco, etc wouldve given them an experienced goaltender for Leighton to split the time with. If he performed well, great, if he didnt, at least you had a solid goalie to fall back on. Not that Boosh isnt solid, but if Leighton proves to be ineffective, I am not sure how long Boosh can carry the load either.

Bottom line...they expect a guy who has been a third string goalie for most of his career to step in and start twice as many games as he ever has in his career (which was also 7 years ago), and on top of that endure another 2 month playoff run. That is asking a lot from a guy, especially when Brian Boucher is his backup...

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