Laviolette Had A Brain-Fart
If you were anything like I was all day yesterday before the puck dropped, then you were going through the motions of carrying on conversation between you and family members on Easter Sunday while checking your phone/computer to see who was going to start in net for Game 6.
It was making me nervous that news hadn't broke yet, although I was sure it was going to be Boucher. HAD to be Boucher, right?
Oh, good heavens no....
Peter Laviolette, in a moment of what could only be described as "out of mind", decided to give Michael Leighton the start between the pipes.
Leighton, a man with one start and only two NHL games under his belt prior to yesterday's Win or Go Home contest, was thought to be a netminder able to get us to a Game 7 in this QuarterFinals Series.
I'll spare everyone the boxscore stats. You've already read about it in Tim March's game review, but you didn't need a doctorate degree from an Ivy League University to instantly know this had bad news written all over it from the start.
Let me address to the readers that it wasn't Patrick Kane's Stanley Cup winning OT goal that bears the sole reason for my hatred of Leighton. I've said it before, but for the sake of refreshing your memory -- I find it impossible (for me) to back up a hockey player who failed to disclose his injury prior to signing his extension with the Philadelphia Flyers. Especially considering the Flyers organization treats its players and players of Orange past like close family members.
So to deceive an organization who opens their doors and keeps them open for everyone employed under its umbrella tells me you're a conniving bastard, and for that I do not respect him.
His gaping wide 5-hole certainly doesn't strengthen any argument against my distaste either.
So after Thomas Vaneck snuck goals #2 and 3 between Leighton's ostrich legs in the 1st period, all I could do is hate Leighton even more, then stare at Laviolette like he should be commited to the loony bin.
As my extended family ate away at two baked hams, mac & potato salad, sausage and peppers, and a cheese tray that would make a Wisconsin native envious, I was leaned back in a chair in my parents' family room watching -- what I believed to be -- the Flyers' most promising year in a long time get flushed down the toilet.
My hopes and Flyers dreams circled the bottom of the porcelain, made ready to venture through a sea of shit and dead goldfish while Team Ryan Miller went on to the SemiFinals.
On one hand, we've still got the memory of Laviolette's infamous "Time Out". It's as fresh in our minds as if it happened this morning when we woke up.
But on the other hand, we've got Coach's decision to start Leighton in a friggin elimination Game 6!!!
Two extremes. Both weigh very heavily (one positively, one negatively) on Peter's track record now. I may be over exaggerating, but yesterday's judgement call is going to lead me to at least question Lavy's decision making for a short while. I cannot help that. We have no idea what's going on in his head, so maybe he had valid reasoning to start Leighton in the cage?
Or was his brain replaced with a coo coo clock? Has a leader ever lost his mind like this before? Answer: Yes.
All I know is where I want Leighton ending up at: