Laviolette Chooses Boucher over Emery in Montreal. HockeyBuzzCast at 2:30pm
December 7, 2009, 1:54 PM ET [162 Comments]

Eklund
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This is a rather interesting continuation of the earlier blog about the Flyers talent...

Peter Laviolette has named Brian Boucher the starter tonight Versus the Montreal Canadiens over Ray Emery.

This is the first sign that there is a new coach in town.

I remember covering Laviolette in the Stanley Cup season in Carolina and he had no problem switching goalies at will. Even in the playoffs themselves, a playoffs that would eventually see Cam Ward winning the Conn Smythe, Laviolette turned to Martin Gerber if he felt that Gerber was the better goalie at that moment and time.

In Game 3 of the Conference Finals that season versus the Sabres, Gerber replaced Ward in Game 3 for allowing 4 goals on 26 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Sabres. Gerber stopped all 7 shots, and was the starter for the PIVOTAL Game 4 of that series. A game that Sabres fans remember well. Gerrber shut out the Sabres and the Hurricanes won 4-0 in Buffalo to steal the momentum back from a series that was slipping away.

In that case Laviolette looked away form his #1 guy with the team facing falling down the dreaded 3-1 in a series.

So tonight Boucher, who spelled Emery during the last game, is in for the Flyers.

The Flyers haven't really had a coach that played the goalie shifting game in a long time. Of all the coaches that I remember, you probably have to look to Mike Keenan and Pat Quinn to find coaches that didn't really tend towards the Starter/Backup scenario.

Quinn's time in Philly is what really comes to mind. During the famous Flyers 35 game unbeaten streak in 1979-80 Quinn went back and forth between the rookie Pete Peeters and veteran Phil Myre. I remember being in 6th grade and wanting Peeters to play every game. Somehow, Quinn managed to make that tandem work.

In general, I am of the school of thinking that you run with your #1, but I think that this is a brilliant move by Laviolette because right now this team needs to shift the focus away from the lack of organization and inability to play with any sort of offensive flow. I don't think that Boucher is "hot" by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think that he is more a "goalie of stability" right now. In other words, Boucher can take the heat off of the Emery slump at least for now.

I could see Emery back in goal tomorrow versus the Islanders.

At the end of the day, this Flyers team will need Ray Emery.