The Flyers are No. 1 team in the National Hockey League, but there’s a catch. If it was any other club in this spot you’d know who their No. 1 goalie was outright.
Sergei Bobrovsky has played in 30 games to Brian Boucher’s 19. Yet, if you go by recent history – past month – it would seem that Boucher has unseated the Russian rookie.
Boucher has been thoroughly consistent the entire season. On the other hand, Bobrovsky has won four in a row.
“You know I hate numbers,” Laviolette said. “I don’t like to talk about a No. 1 defensive pair. I don’t like to talk about a No.1 power play unit. I don’t like to talk about a No. 1 line. I am not interested in numbers.
“I think we’re moving along OK this year. I haven’t assigned any numbers yet ... I don’t believe in it. Go in there and play hard and good chance you will get back in there.”
It's not about having players on the team winning individual trophies. It's about icing the best team possible to win the Cup. If Lavy thinks Bouch should start on a given night, I won't question him since he sees what's going on in practice and knows this team the best.
Plus, this creates competition to fight for being named the playoff starter. Also Bob isn't used to this amount of work. If he plays in too many games, he has a greater chance of tiring out in the playoffs.
I think they're playing it just right. If things continue as they are it should end up close to a 50/50 split between the 2 guys, ideal since neither guy is used to playing 65+ games. So you alternate them, and make the decision re: playoff starter down the stretch if it's clear one guy is playing better.