Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stat Line of the Day: May 1st

David Krejci (BOS): 2 G, 2 A, 4 SOG, +3 @ PHI
I wasn't sure whether to put Krejci or Philadelphia goalie Brian Boucher, as they were equally important in Boston's 7-3 thrashing of the Flyers in Game One of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Last year, Philadelphia allowed Boston to go up 3-0 before they
Krejci celebrating his first goal against the Flyers
stormed back to win 4-3 and eventually lose to Chicago in the Stanley Cup Finals. This year, the Flyers--while they do have a stronger offense--have some serious goaltending problems to deal with. Brian Boucher became the first goalie in NHL history to win multiple games in relief in the same series, which isn't exactly a great distinction. He was helped by Bruins forward David Krejci (left), who had only one goal in the playoffs until last night's outburst. Krejci scored Boston's first goal of the game and assisted on their second, but it was his second goal that put the Bruins up 4-1 and really took all the wind out of the Flyers' sails. Unlike baseball, hockey is a game where you never want to use a reliever, much less have to rely on three-and-four goal comebacks to win a game. Unfortunately, the Flyers goalies keep putting them in that position, like the 5-1 hole the Flyers found themselves in by the 2nd period of yesterday's action. No, it wasn't entirely Boucher's fault, but watching Tim Thomas stop good attempt after good attempt while Boucher allowed in a few semi-bad goals must have been infuriating for a Flyers fanbase that has been begging for a true starting goalie ever since Ron Hextall retired in 1999. Now Flyers fans will be kept wondering if it will be Boucher or rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, who's only got an 87.5 save % thus far in the playoffs. It remains to be seen if Bobrovsky will eventually grow into the netminder he showed flashes of being during the regular season, but it's pretty clear he's not ready yet for the playoffs.

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