“I don’t talk about goaltenders,” Peter Laviolette said. He also says he does not talk about injuries or lineups. The man is no fun -- except that, in the absence of word from the Flyers’ coach, everyone is just going to revert to speculation-on-overdrive about the identity of the Flyers’ starting goalie on Monday night in Buffalo.
We all saw what happened. We have seen it happen a bunch of times before. Bobrovsky started Game 2 against the Sabres and allowed three first period goals on seven shots and that was that. In came Boucher, who brings a steadiness to his business that Bobrovsky cannot always harness.
“There’s a calmness to him,” Laviolette said. “There’s a presence about him.”
Thereafter, Boucher was excellent in the Flyers’ 5-3 victory, stopping 21 out of 22 shots and really having no chance on the one that got past him. Hence, the questions.
Boucher is unflappable in the post-game interview process, too, whenever this happens. He talks about being prepared and bring used to the role of backup and all of that. He never complains about his inability to secure the position as the Flyers' starter. He has been around the block a dozen times and he has been hit by a few punches along the way and he just rolls with them, expertly.
The issue for Laviolette is this: how would Bobrovsky react mentally if the decision was made to go here to Boucher -- and would it matter? Bobrovsky is a kid, and this is his first rodeo and, well, what if they made the change and he went in the tank mentally and then the Flyers needed him again in a few days or weeks?
That is the question hanging there in the back of everyone's mind. That is why Laviolette makes the big money. Because Boucher would respond well, regardless of the decision, is also why he makes the big money.
With that, we wait.
“It’s something we’ll deal with tomorrow,” Boucher said. “Either way, I’ll be ready.”