Michael Leighton: Not the Star of the NHL Conference Finals

Matt Eichel@@mattyalloutSenior Writer IMay 23, 2010

MONTREAL, QC - MAY 22:  Michael Leighton #49 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre on May 22, 2010 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Enough already!

I'm sorry, but Michael Leighton isn't this messiah of a goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers.

He has simply earned three shutouts in the Eastern Conference Finals because of the effectiveness of the Philadelphia Flyers defense that have been keeping the small Montreal forwards to the outside.

In Game 3, Leighton only saw 17 shots and stopped them all—not to mention only one shot in the second period.

But please, if any of those 17 shots were at all hard to get, then forgive me.

In my opinion, they weren't and yet Leighton gets a huge pat on the back from everyone in the media on how well he's playing.

Now you're saying, "Geez, another bitter Montreal Canadiens fan just looking at something to complain about."


If the Flyers win the Eastern Conference crown and go up against the best of the west, which looks more and more likely to be the Chicago Blackhawks, everyone in the media who is proclaiming Leighton's greatness will be silenced.

Let's see how Leighton stacks up against an offense that is firing on all cylinders and even getting secondary scoring from the likes of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Dustin Byfuglien, and Dave Bolland.  

Not to mention the ready-to-bust-out scorers such as Marian Hossa.

Even if San Jose pulls another “Philadelphian” upset and defeats the Blackhawks, Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and company will still test Leighton and show his true skills.

At best, Michael Leighton is an AHL goaltender, who is lucky to have a hulking Philadelphia defensive core in front of him who can keep a small, speedy team to the outside—a defensive team that blocked 27 shots in Game 3 alone.

Leighton showed how weak he can be in Game 3 when Montreal scored five goals.

There have been less than five quality scoring chances by the Canadiens in every one of the shutouts in the Eastern Finals.

In my opinion, the Canadiens have made Leighton look good.

So please stop saying how awesome Michael Leighton is.

Because if the Flyers get to the Finals, it's lights out.