There is no doubt the Flyers defense in game one of their series with Boston was poor and the 7 goals allowed were not the fault (entirely) of Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky. There was a lot of blame to go around.
But the Flyers chances of winning a Stanley Cup are long, each and every year, until they make goaltending a top priority.
No, just having a top goalie doesn't guarantee a Stanley Cup. But the Bruins seem to have the upper hand in this series because Tim Thomas is more reliable than either Boucher or Bobrovsky. And Buffalo took the Flyers to 7 game because of Ryan Miller, when the Sabres clearly were a lesser team throughout the lineup.
It's not a coincidence that the Flyers' only Stanley Cup titles came with their best-ever goalie in the nets....Bernie Parent. Ron Hextall was very good and there probably were other reasons they didn't win with him.
But for the most part, the Flyers approach has been to go with young goaltenders, who have promise but frequently never live up to it, journeymen or formerly great veterans who are past their prime.
I like Boucher...but he has too many times of up and down play, and I don't see him as a guy you win a Stanley Cup with. I could be wrong...and I hope I am...but I think the Flyers weakness in goal will again prevent them from winning a Stanley Cup.
This team should have won several cups by now. This has been a team built to win, from Lindros and LeClair and Brind'Amour to Briere, Giroux and Carter. They've been strong everywhere but goalie. I have never understood why they have not made getting an all-world goaltender a priority.
Garth Snow, Sean Burke, John Vanbiesbrouck, Roman Cechmanek, Robert Esche, Brian Boucher, Ron Hextall (second time around), Marty Biron, Antero Nittymaki -- serviceable but just not good enough.
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