Flyers fans appear to be disenchanted with their present goalies. Or maybe there is a quiet but determined lobby of Leighton fans who just want to see him play again without buying the AHL package. Much as I would be delighted to see him play for either of my teams, win or lose, I really don’t think he is the answer the Flyers are looking for right now. But as I well know, a fan base will never miss an opportunity to blame the goalie.
The Flyers have not been a team propped up by out of this world goaltending in a long time. A long, long time. That said, Boosh has mostly done a bang up job, and Bob has shown enough flashes of brilliance to prove there is a good chance that one day he may steal a game when the rest of his team falls apart. But not yet, not yet.
Nevertheless, Leights has not outperformed either of them this season. So there isn’t any reason to risk losing him to a team that might want to add a goalie. The Sharks may or may not be in that class, it depends on what Nitty does. There are other teams, like the Rangers, who are most urgently in need of a backup. No matter what the Flyers do, the odds are slim to none that they will have Leighton playing for them this season.
What do the Flyers need? Ahem. That falling apart thing? They need to not do so much of that. They have proven again and again that they do not need the goalie to do everyone’s job to win a game. They know how to win, they just need to forget all these nasty habits they’ve picked up of late. Mainly, the habit of forgetting that they will win, if they put their minds, and their fannies, to the task.
Also, Lavi might need to reassemble familiar lines and leave them together for a bit. The players have been tested, they have played in most every line combination imaginable. Sometimes they failed, sometimes they did okay. They never really thrived. I don’t think they were supposed to. I think they were supposed to get the feel of it, the uncertainty, the making it up as you go, do it any which way you can experience. That’s the kind of situation many teams find themselves in during the playoffs.
Disaster drills are good, everyone should do them. The Flyers did them. Now it is time to get back to basics, get the players back in their comfort zones so they can remember how to win again. Tonight, against Dallas, would be a good time to start. Also, the Sharks would appreciate it. They softened them up (or at least thinned them out) and everything.