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BSH Audition: Boucher or Leighton, who should be the Flyers backup?

As we all know by this point, the Flyers traded Luke Pither to Carolina, in exchange for Brian Boucher and Mark Alt. Boucher returns to Philadelphia, where he helped the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. Although Boucher was waived by the Flyers and will probably end up in Glens Falls, with the Adirondack Phantoms, many wonder if Boucher should be Ilya Bryzgalov's backup, or if that role truly belongs to the current backup, Michael Leighton.

The first thing that pops into any Flyers fans' head when they think of Brian Boucher is winning the shootout against the Rangers to get the Flyers into the playoffs on the last possible day of the 2009-2010 season, whereas the first thought of Michael Leighton is him allowing Pat Kane's game winning goal in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.

If we simply compare Boucher and Leighton's career statistics, they are nearly identical in save percentage, Boucher with a .901 and Leighton with a .902.

Despite the similarity in save percentage, there is a big difference between the two in terms of goals against average, shutouts and wins, which all favor Boucher. Boucher has recorded 120 wins, 17 of which were shutouts, keeping his goal against average at a respectable 2.71. Leighton on the other hand has only recorded 35 wins, 4 of which were shutouts and his goal against average is at 2.95.

Albeit, Boucher has played 220 more games than Leighton, but two of Boucher's three best seasons in terms of save percentage came in a Flyers uniform. In the 1999-2000 Boucher saved 91.8% of the shots he saw and in the 2010-2011 season, he saved 91.6%.

Seeing as the Flyers are not looking for either one of these journeymen to be their starting goaltender, age is not much of a factor , although Leighton is three and a half years younger than Boucher.

The Flyers have elected to go with Leighton as their backup, Boucher does seem like the better choice. It will be interesting to see how this scenario plays out over the course of this shortened season.


This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

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