Michael Leighton Out 7-10 Days, Brian Boucher Called Up
Brian Boucher during his time in Philadelphia in ’10. (Courtesy of NHL.com)
The injury bug has not been kind to the Philadelphia Flyers in this lockout shortened season, and goalies have been no exception. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has announced to the media that backup goaltender Michael Leighton will be out 7-10 days with what the team has described as an “upper body injury”. To take his place, the team has recalled Brian Boucher from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms.
Holmgren went on to say that Leighton injured himself at an optional team practice on Friday, February 8th, and the injury worsened on Saturday. The 31 year-old goalie has played in just one game this year, a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in which he allowed 5 goals on just 26 shots. The years have not been kind to Leighton, who after being a hero in the Flyers Stanley Cup run of 2010, spent the last two seasons in the American Hockey League.
Boucher, who was acquired on January 13th from the Carolina Hurricanes, will be in his 4th stint with the Flyers (1999, 2000-2002, 2009-2010). He was initially acquired as an insurance policy for the team, and the move certainly seems to be a smart one now. The American netminder played just 10 games for Carolina last year, as he was placed on the Injured Reserve with a season ending shoulder injury. He compiled a 1-6-1 record with a GAA of 3.41 and a save percentage of .881%. However, in 320 career NHL games, Boucher has a very solid GAA of 2.71, and has posted the same average in 6 games with Adirondack this season.
He’ll be on the team’s flight to Toronto for their game Monday night, and could be between the pipes for the Flyers sooner rather than later. Starting goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has started 11 of the team’s 12 games this season, and the last 6 in a row. With Philadelphia traveling to take on the Winnipeg Jets in a back to back on Tuesday, it is plausible that Boucher could get the start for the Flyers then.
Jake Pavorsky is a contributor for TheHockeyGuys.net. You can follow him on Twitter @JakePavorsky.