Boucher may finally get to play

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

Brian Boucher is hoping for another shot.

Not at redemption, just another chance to shake the rust.

Having served as a backup for the last 14 games, the Calgary Flames goaltender would love one last opportunity -- or two -- to perform before the playoffs begin.

"You never know with the playoffs, so you'd like to have a game in before you get in there," Boucher said after yesterday's optional skate at the Saddledome.

"Look at what happened with (Tomas) Vokoun in Nashville (out for the season).

"Nobody could see that coming and now Chris Mason's thrown in there.

"For my game, it'd be nice to get in a game -- if that is the case -- just to feel a bit more comfortable."

Boucher, acquired via trade with Phoenix Feb. 1, has made only two appearances in Flames togs.

The last one was a doozy, the 9-4 thrashing at the hands of the Nashville Predators March 18, during which he was between the pipes the whole game.

"I don't think that game is indicative of how we've played all year and how I expect myself to play," said Boucher, whose goals-against average as a Flame is 5.37.

"I think it was a dud, from the team and from myself.

"It was just an overall bad effort where everything went wrong.

"Obviously, you don't want it to be on that note. You want to get into a game and feel good about yourself."

Boucher has certainly been given a glimpse of top-level goaltending, seeing Miikka Kiprusoff do an incredible job while playing all but one game since the Olympic break.

Certainly, Boucher would love to have that magic rub off on his game.

"He's been a pleasure to watch," Boucher said.

"In my opinion, he's the best goalie in the league. How he doesn't win the Vezina, I don't know."

Assistant coach Rich Preston wouldn't tip his hand if or when Boucher will play but tonight's clash against the Kings would be a perfect opportunity.

"In his own mind, he'd like to get a win under his belt," Preston said.

"That's one of the toughest jobs being a backup goalie, especially when your top goaltender plays the majority of the games like Kipper has. It's tough to stay sharp.

"To Boucher's credit, he's been one of the hardest workers on the ice.

"He goes out early and stays out late and you have to do that to stay ready because you never know."


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