Michael DeNicola

4/07/10

 

Philadelphia's goalie, Brian Boucher, came up huge in last night's victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had 23 saves in his 100th career win, shutting out the Leafs 2 - 0.

For the most part, our defense played well and Boucher made a handful of saves on his head.

From the last half of the 1st period to the final minute and a half of the 3rd, Flyers forward, Claude Giroux's one goal fed by Danny Briere was the only goal seperating each team's score, until Flyers Captain, Mike Richards, wristed a shot from behind Toronto's defensive zone and into an empty net.

This Philadelphia win was their second straight since March 9th against the New York Islanders, but it was no easy task.

When the NHL resumed after the Olympics, Toronto had been playing some very good hockey. Leafs net tender, Jean-Sebastian Giguere noted, "Since March 3rd, we've been playing really well, I think there's a lot of hope in this dressing room, a lot of good young guys with lots of talent. There's something to be enthusiastic about so hopefully we're not going to disappoint the fans next year."

Both teams battled, last night, and both goalies played a magnificent game. It wasn't until Flyers forward, Scott Hartnell, put us in yet another unfortunate situation deep in the 3rd period when he decided to retaliate on a Leaf after the play stopped in our crease. The Flyers were down a man, up just one goal, and Toronto's home crowd was electrifying. It was a successful, but a nail biting power play kill.

With just over three minutes remaining in the game, Brian Boucher had a save on Luke Schenn's slap shot that trickled out of Boucher's pads and began slowly sliding behind him and into the net. The crowd jumped to their feet but were immediately disappointed when Brian turned his head to look for the puck which was inches from crossing the goalie's blue line, and made a ridiculous save stick-slapping the puck out of the crease.

It all happened in maybe just 3 seconds, but it was the longest 3 seconds of my life. I never breathed, and I was clenched so hard that you couldn't pull a thread of floss from my ass. I imagine every fan watching had the same reaction.

Yes, Boucher played a great game and I give him his props, but hopefully momentum and confidence can be gained from last night's win and used against the New York Rangers who we have the remaining two games. This Flyers team has shown one consistency all season long.....and that is that they are inconsistent.

With the past two games being in the win columns, the Flyers remain in 7th seed just one point above the Bruins, and one point behind the Canadiens. The Rangers are four points behind us which means they'll be waiting for us and looking for blood. Even though this is still the regular season, the next couple games will have Game 7 atmosphere and must be won.

The next game will be Friday, April 9th @ 7:00pm versus the NYR.

 

Below I added the highlight where Boucher had that unbelievable save in net.