Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flyers turn to college player to backup Boucher (but only on weekends)

Ugly. It's a word that can describe both how the Flyers are playing right now as well as their goaltending situation. Everything guest poster Mark Trible said the other day about the Flyers lacking passion and accountability still rings true but what's happening in goal this season, where things have gone from bad to worse, is just ridiculous.

With Ray Emery and Michael Leighton already out for the season, the Flyers have been forced to turn to Brian Boucher as the starting goaltender despite how many bad goals he lets up. On Saturday, the Flyers gave Johan Backlund his first career start in net, and, despite giving up too many juicy rebounds, he had a decent showing against the Penguins. Until he got hurt, of course. Backlund had been dealing with groin issues with the Phantoms and he re-aggravated it in the second period, forcing the Flyers to put Boucher into a game that they promptly lost. While Backlund wasn't going to be the savior in net, we should have expected that the moment he showed any promise he would go down with an injury. That's just how things have gone for the Flyers this season.

Luckily, Backlund only expects to be out a few days. In his place, the Flyers have made an emergency call-up of Carter Hutton from UMass-Lowell. Hutton was just recently signed by the Flyers after he finished his four year college career and will serve as Boucher's backup until Backlund is healthy again. Well, at least on weekends. Apparently, Hutton will be unavailable to play games in the middle of the week because he has a class he must attend at UMass-Lowell.

Yep, so not only are injuries keeping the Flyers thin in goal, classes in college might keep the Flyers from having two healthy netminders. What the Flyers will do if Brian Boucher gets hurt and Hutton isn't around to back him up is a mystery. Perhaps that whole idea of signing Robert Esche that came up with doesn't seem so ridiculous. And that pretty much sums up the sad state the Flyers goaltending situation is in.

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