Flyers' goalie carousel: Boosh's turn

      DALLAS _ A little over six weeks ago, the Flyers had an overflow of NHL-caliber goalies.
      Now they have one.
      Now it’s Brian Boucher who will try to steer his enigmatic team into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
      A well-traveled 10-year veteran, the pressure shouldn’t bother Boucher, who figures to get a majority of the starts in the Flyers’ final 13 regular-season games. Michael Leighton is sidelined with a high sprain of his left ankle.
      Leighton, who replaced the injured Ray Emery, will have an MRI Thursday at noon to determine the severity of his injury.
     But, based on similar injuries to other goalies, Leighton is expected to miss a minimum of a few weeks.
     Boucher, 33, has been much better than his numbers (4-12-2 record, 2.77 goals-against average) indicate.
     Four of his losses occurred after he entered a game in relief and his team was trailing.
     It should also be noted that he has had little offensive support _ the Flyers have scored a total of eight goals in his 10 losses as a starter. In his 14 starts, he has a 2.42 goals-against average, which is actually better than Leighton’s (2.48) or Emery’s (2.64).
     Thursday, when the Flyers play in Dallas, the player known as Boosh will make his first start since Dec. 21.
     A broken finger cost Boucher a chance to replace Emery earlier this season. Now he is getting an opportunity because of Leighton’s injury.
     “It’s been tough the last three months or so,” Boucher said. “You get hurt and not getting a chance to get a start after that, but to be honest with you, you just try to stay positive as best you can. You practice as best as you can. And you try to be ready because you never know if there’s an opportunity that comes up.”
     Asked if he thought the Flyers’ season was in his hands, Boucher said, “I’m obviously the goalie that’s going to play, but I think since January or so, we’ve had a pretty good team effort all the way around. The guys are playing the system a lot better under Lavi (coach Peter Laviolette)…”
     It’ll be interesting to see if the Flyers tighten their defense and spend more time in their opponents’ end _ like they did in Nashville on Tuesday _ to make life easier for Boucher.
    “We’re going to need everybody,” Boucher said. “We’re going to need our best players to be our best players, and I’m going to have to provide solid goaltending. And if I don’t do that, that will be a problem. I don’t anticipate that being the case. I totally feel confident in my abilities and I think that I’ll give this team a chance to keep pushing forward here.”
    On Thursday, Boucher will be facing a mediocre Dallas team that scored a stunning 8-2 win over San Jose Tuesday.