For all intents and purposes, Michael Leighton is gone. With him on waivers, even if doesn't get claimed, he won't be back this season unless the goaltending situation changes with an injury. And that's okay.
The Flyers are back to the two goalie system. Both goaltenders, Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky, will get ample practice time and ample playing time the rest of the way. Both goalies are capable of playing at a high level, too. This is good.
One thing we've been hearing a lot about lately, though, even before Leighton was placed on waivers, is that Boucher has grabbed the No. 1 job. Maybe it's something we have to say. We have to anoint one guy as the guy. But why is that? Besides one good game of late, there's no evidence that Brian Boucher is that guy. Why do we even need to have a starting goaltender?
We've been talking all year about how we don't want to wear our Bobrovsky, who's only played 35 games, at max, in a season prior to this year. We've also been saying how it's not wise to send him down to the Phantoms this season now that he's with the Flyers. It would be a blow to his confidence and the Phantoms are a chaotic mess, anyway. Bad all around.
Meanwhile, we know Brian Boucher. He's not a starting goaltender. He's a career backup, and he's perfectly fine in that role. He's a solid mentor for Bob and he's a great team player, but no matter how well he plays in a few games, he's not starter material. We all know this, even those of us who are in love with him, and we should all accept that.
Peter Laviolette will continue to ride the hot hand, as he's done all season so far. Boucher won on Sunday, so he'll likely start on Thursday. He won't win 40 straight games, so when he loses, Bobrovsky will get another chance. If at some point one of these guys separate themselves, then we can debate using the term "No. 1 goaltender."
For now, the Flyers have two capable goaltenders who will continue to split time in net. It's really the ideal situation, as long as it's the regular season. The Flyers don't need a starting goaltender right now. Let's not keep acting like they do.