by Patrick Hoffman on 01/13/11 at 12:06 PM ET
When Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltender Brian Boucher jumped into the NHL scene back during the 2000 season, he showed quite a bit of promise.
That season, he led the Flyers to within one game of the Stanley Cup Finals before bowing out to the New Jersey Devils. Yes folks, that was the same game that Devils’ defenseman Scott Stevens crushed Flyers’ superstar Eric Lindros.
After that glimpse of stardom, however, Boucher got off to a bad start in the 2000-01 season before losing the job to Roman Cechmanek (remember him?). He then had some so-so seasons with Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks before returning the Flyers last season, where he helped the team beat the Devils in the first round of the playoffs before getting hurt in the second round and being replaced by Michael Leighton.
However, he we are in January 2011 and it appears that Boucher has stolen the show in Philly and is now the team’s No. 1 netminder. In 17 games this season, the 34-year-old netminder is 10-4-2 with 2.23 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Not bad for someone that many thought couldn’t play a lot of games anymore, eh?
Boucher has surprised many this season with his quickness, ability to beat elite hockey teams as well as his skill in net. He is not in his 20’s anymore but Boucher has showed that he still has very much left in the tank to stop pucks.
The Flyers’ as on organization realize this, which is why they sent Leighton down to the Phantoms. Earlier on in the season, many Flyers’ pundits and fans alike thought that it would be either Boucher or Sergei Bobrovsky but because of the strong play from both Bobrovsky and Boucher, Leighton was the one who drew the short stick.
Obviously, there is a lot of hockey left to be played but for right now, let’s all raise our glasses and salute Boucher, who is having one of the best seasons of his career.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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