photo via Wikimedia
Goaltending. It's always the problem.
We know this, and there's no reason to look back at all the goaltending failures we've seen over the last... 23 or so years. (For the record and on the subject, we've changed the slogan on the site for the first time this season!) On Tuesday night in Nashville, though, our little three-ring goalie circus got a little more absurd when Michael Leighton left the game in the first period with what's being reported as a high-ankle sprain.
As Brian Boucher came into the game with nobody to back him up, word first got out via the Daily News that Johan Backlund was injured up in Glens Falls. We had just spoken with Tim McManus at the Post-Star for 40 minutes in an interview for BSH Radio and he hadn't mentioned a word about Backlund's injury, so things were questionable. As it turns out, it appears Backlund did indeed look a little injured in overtime on Sunday and after an off day on Monday, he missed practice on Tuesday.
So then, everybody scrambled to figure out who would be the emergency call up instead of Backlund. It appears now that it'll be AHL backup Jeremy Duchesne instead of the other possibility, an emergency call up of QMJHL goalie Nic Riopel. His team, Moncton, is set to make a lot of noise and run at the Memorial Cup.
With the playoffs starting on Friday, that would've been less than ideal for Moncton and likely for Riopel's development. Also, as was pointed out in the game thread last night, signing Riopel to a deal with the Flyers may not have even been possible.
Because of this, Duchesne seems to be the ideal choice. He's not going to be playing anyway unless Boucher gets injured, and since he's been backing up Backlund in Glens Falls for a while now, I'm sure his door opening abilities are top notch.
As this carousel continues to spin around the Flyers in Philadelphia, Glens Falls, Nashville and Dallas, one of our scouts is across the pond in Europe on the look out for the next goaltending prospect to add to the system.
His name is Jussi Rynnäs, he's 22, and Flyers scout Neil Little is in Finland for the rest of the week watching him play. As reported by the reliable Teemu H, also known as @euroflyers on Twitter, Little confirmed that the Flyers are interested in his services.
"We are interested in Rynnäs", Little confirms. "Several NHL teams are. I believe he'll get an NHL contract but he's not NHL ready yet."
So who is Jussi Rynnäs? We'll try to answer that question after the jump.
That seems to be the case here with an HF member named Tormentor. Here's a little scouting report on Rynnäs.
Rynnäs still has some problems with his rebound control, recovery quickness, lateral movement when being down, and covering angels in some situation, but I think that these areas will improve with hard work. At least Pekka Rinne is a good role model for Rynnäs, because he had similar weaknesses in his game when he still played in Finland.
Naturally Rynnäs still has a lot of work ahead of him, but there's a chance that this kid goes far.
NHL teams are noticing, and there are also reports that the Stars have interest. The Dallas report says that Rynnäs will be available to become a free agent this upcoming summer, and we should probably expect him to get a lot of looks. It's nice to see that the Flyers are showing a bit of interest as well.
Besides, with Mika Pyörälä in Adirondack, the Flyers are in serious need of umlauts.