Time to address Flyers' goaltending

Philadelphia Flyers' Brian Boucher pulls the puck from the net after a Boston Bruins goal during...

Philadelphia Flyers' Brian Boucher pulls the puck from the net after a Boston Bruins goal during the first period in Game 3. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:19 PM ET

BOSTON - It could be an honest assessment of what happened to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Or just more delusional thinking that has left the club with a problem everybody else in the world of hockey can see, but the Flyers can’t.

The Flyers made seven goaltending changes in 11 playoff games this spring, using rookie Sergei Bobrovsky and journeymen Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton.

Bobrovksy, after relieving Boucher in the first three games of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Boston Bruins, started Game 4 Friday night.

In the wake of their second-round sweep at the hands of the Bruins, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said after Friday’s 5-1 loss: “I don’t think we can fault our goaltending at any point this series. I know it looks bad when you pull a guy all the time, but goaltending, and I have said this before, I believe is a function of your team. Was (Bobrovsky) great tonight? No, but he is a young kid under intense circumstances. But we didn’t lose the game because of our goalie. We lost the game because their team out played our team.”

Bobrovsky had his moments in his rookie season, and looks like he has potential, but the Flyers are built to win now.

The Flyers, missing anchor defenceman Chris Pronger for the last three games of the series, did not play well in front of any of their goaltenders, so that’s a fair point by Holmgren.

What to do? The Flyers have Bobrovsky for another couple of years on his entry level deal ($1.7 million cap hit) while Boucher is an unrestricted free agent. Leighton has one more year at a cap hit of $1.5 million after being rewarded for his run last spring (then coming up with back injury).

The Flyers, who are already close to the cap next year with 18 players signed, would have to do some payroll paring to create room to sign an unrestricted free agent this summer like Tomas Vokoun or Ilya Bryzgalov, the two highest-profile possibilities, but neither has a playoff pedigree.

Cup winner Chris Osgood could be out there, but does he still have what it takes?

Do you take a chance on J.S. Giguere, who won a Cup in 2007, but had an injury-plagued year in Toronto?

The latter two might be had cheap(er), but come with risk.

It’ll be an interesting summer and don’t be surprised if the Flyers goaltending is still a talking point next spring.


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