Leighton Shines in Playoff Spotlight

Denis DotsonContributor IMay 20, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 18:  Michael Leighton #49 of the Philadelphia Flyers makes a save against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wachovia Center on May 18, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

 When Marc Savard crashed to the ice and into the leg of Brian Boucher during Game 5, Flyers fans thought this may be the end of the line for their shot at a monumental upset of the Bruins. After all, Boucher had years of playoff experience between the pipes and Leighton had none. All Leighton accomplished the rest of the series was allow 3 goals on 70 shots and lead the Flyers’ defense to three wins to become the fourth team in history to rebound from a 3-0 hole. The Flyers, and Leighton, now find themselves in a comfortable 2-0 lead over the Canadiens in the Eastern Finals.

And Leighton has been nothing short of spectacular as well. The netminder has had a perfect save percentage in the Eastern Finals, over 160:00 of shutout hockey, and 13 unanswered goals for his offense. Leighton’s superb play in the first two games of the series against the Habs has lowered the morale of Canadiens’ forwards, and negatively impacted their performance in the first two games of the Finals. In effect, Leighton has carried the Flyers to great heights, as the Flyers are undefeated when they hold a 2-0 lead.  Unless Leighton’s performance suffers in the next two games, the Flyers will be well on their way to their eighth Prince of Wales Trophy, and a 7-game date with the Hawks or Sharks.