Considered a surprise, Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has named Brian Boucher the starting goaltender for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, according to the Flyers' official Twitter account (@NHLFlyers).
It was widely speculated by the majority of fans (including myself) that Laviolette would go with the rookie Sergei Bobrovsky as his starter, but he tricked us all when he chose the veteran Boucher.
Boucher provided the backbone that the Flyers needed in Game 2 of the quarterfinals. He stopped 20 of 21 shots after relieving "Bob."
It's a tough choice for the coach, who many say is afraid to lose Bobrovsky mentally by sitting him.
But would it really break Bob's confidence?
Bobrovsky hasn't been exactly perfect in the games immediately following a benching. But he has appeared mature enough throughout the season to be accustomed to the mental aspect of the NHL.
The numbers show he has obviously performed. We're all pulling for Bobrovsky.
But sometimes the numbers lie. They often don't account for that one goal that should have been stopped or that time or two you were out of position and got beat over the shoulder short-side.
Statistics also don't account for the times you've come in relief and changed the momentum of the game (in Boucher's case.)
There's no category that reads, "Came in when your team was losing and still registered a win," or else the abbreviation would look like this—CIWYTWLASRAW.
Laviolette made the right choice. Tonight it will be Boucher.
This article was also published here: Philly Sports God Blog