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Tag:Brian Boucher
Posted on: June 29, 2011 5:51 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Free agency: Vokoun headlines goalie market

If this were real estate, we'd call it a seller's market and Tomas Vokoun would be the blemished old house down the road that ends up looking like a palace.

NHL Free Agency

That was one of the many things that resulted from the Ilya Bryzgalov-to-Philadelphia story. Vokoun was left as the clear cream of the crop for teams in search of goaltending, which figures to be a short list. Teams like Colorado, and possibly Phoenix and Edmonton will need to address their situations -- as will the Florida Panthers.

Now there is no guarantee that Vokoun will have a new address as Panthers GM Dale Tallon said this weekend at the draft that the team's next priority would be to talk to Vokoun and figure out where both sides stand. But at this point it sure seems like Vokoun won't be coming back to the Panthers as the talks reportedly went nowhere.

Because of his status as the best option available, Vokoun will likely command another high salary, not necessarily because his play warrants it but the market could dictate as such. In the end that will largely depend on how many teams decide to take a gander at the goaltender.

Here are this year's best goaltenders (in alphabetical order).

Brian Boucher -- Flyers: The veteran was much maligned in Philadelphia, but he was serviceable. Last season he played 34 games for the Flyers, going 18-10-4 with a .916 save percentage and 2.42 goals against average. While he doesn't figure to be a starting goaltender for any team, he certainly still has value to a team looking for a solid backup.


Ray Emery -- Ducks: Once upon a time, Emery looked to be a promising up-and-comer in the NHL with the Senators. Since then he struggled, went to the KHL then returned to Philly before finding out he had avascular necrosis which led to the removal of 13 centimeters of his right fibula. But he came back last season for the Ducks, earning a Masterton Trophy nomination, winning seven of his 10 regular-season starts before going 2-3 in the playoffs. Point is, Emery appears able to be a contributor again for a team in net.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere -- Maple Leafs: A long way removed from his Conn Smythe run in 2003, Giguere has spent the last two seasons in Toronto, no longer a starting-quality goaltender. In 33 games for the Leafs in 2010-11, he had an 11-11-4 record with a less-than stellar 2.87 GAA and .900 save percentage. Now 34, Giguere's demand won't be very high but would provide a veteran backup for some team in need.


Vokoun -- Panthers: There are varying opinions about Vokoun, some point to him playing just five playoff games in his career while others note how bad the teams in front of him in both Nashville and Florida have been. His .922 save percentage is proof he can play. Vokoun is streakier than your average goalie, capable of having a month-long run where he is unbeatable followed by a bevy of three-, four-goal games. Teams in the hunt will be those looking for a full-time starter, most likely Colorado.

Others of interest: Mike Smith (TB), Jose Theodore (MIN), Josh Harding (MIN), Johan Hedberg (NJ), Pascal Leclaire (OTT)

By Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Posted on: May 5, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Report: Bobrovsky to start for Flyers in Game 4

On the verge of extinction in this year's playoffs, the Flyers appear to be changing goaltenders. Again.

It comes as no surprise that Philly is going to return to Sergei Bobrovsky in Game 4 in Boston. The Flyers have been changing netminders as if they were going out of style in the playoffs, something they also did last season on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. But the merry-go-round hasn't worked as well this postseason. At least not yet.

Entering the playoffs, Bobrovsky was the No. 1 guy in net. That lasted all of two games. Since that time, Bob has gone from starter to backup to third string, sitting behind Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton. Well, now down 3-0 to the Bruins, he's apparently back to being the starter, the last hope to ignite Philly as it looks to pull off the impossible once again, coming all the way back to beat the Bruins.

Philadelphia hoped before the season Bobrovsky could be the answer to its goaltending riddle, and he began the year playing well, giving Philly the look of a possible Cup favorite. As the year wore on, so did Bobrovsky, and we end up where we are today.

If the swap does happen, Danny Briere wouldn’t mind.

"I thought he looked great in relief in the Boston series,” Briere said. “Sometimes a lot has to do with how you feel against a team. Certain teams for goalies, maybe he can come in and feel good and see the puck well against the Bruins. I don’t know if he’s playing or not tomorrow, but if he’s in there, I’d feel very comfortable.”

Coach Peter Laviolette seems to think Bobrovsky could help stem the tide.

"Bob, he came in off the bench going in for the injury there (in Game 2) and I thought he did a good job last night,” Laviolette said. “He was good. Again, our team, the goals that went in last night, the first two, we need to be a lot better with what we do in our game in front of our goaltenders. There weren't a lot of chances, but we gave up too many good ones, too many quality ones.”

Either way, the Flyers need something, anything, to get them off the ground

-- Brian Stubits

Posted on: April 18, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 10:34 pm
 

Flyers to start Boucher, Leighton to backup

As suspected, there's a new starting goaltender for Philadelphia tonight. Perhaps unsuspected is that all signs point to there being a new backup, too.

After struggling to the tune of three goals surrendered in seven shots, rookie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled in favor of Brian Boucher, a move that helped the Flyers come back to beat the Sabres and even their series. Coach Peter Laviolette said Monday that it will, in fact, be Boucher starting Game 3 in Buffalo.

"Brian came in last couple of times and has done a really nice job for us in there," Laviolette said. "He’s on top of his game and in charge of his net. He bailed us out of a couple of situations and I really feel he deserves to go in there and play."

As far as the backup spot, per csnphilly.com , Philly will return to the tandem it used in last year's playoff, at least on Monday.

We know it’s Leighton because he and Boucher have full lockers while Sergei Bobrovsky does not. He has a tiny little stall that can’t fit equipment.
So there you have it.

Philadelphia made its improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals last year after getting in on the final day despite not having a go-to goaltender. The hope was that would be resolved this year, and Bobrovsky would be the reason why. The Russian rookie was superb in net early in the season, but faltered some as the season wore on. So it was widely assumed he would have a short leash this postseason.

Leighton played in 14 games last postseason, posting an 8-3 record to spur the Flyers. But this year he played just one game with the big club, being placed on waivers at one point.

-- Brian Stubits

 
 
 
 
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