Boucher's resiliency will get yet another test because the Boston Bruins had their way with him in Saturday's 7-3 rout of the Flyers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Bruins fired five of 23 shots past him before he was relieved by Bobrovsky with 2:46 remaining in the second period.
By his own admission, Boucher played poorly, but he was no worse than his teammates in front of him, who allowed the Bruins to dominate the puck and chase down rebounds without making them pay a price.
"It wasn't anything to do with the goaltending," Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "It was all about us. We were brutal today."
Asked if he expects Boucher to be back in the nets for Monday's Game 2 at the Wells Fargo Center, Timonen said. "I think so."
It won't be Timonen's decision, of course. That will be up to coach Peter Laviolette, who exonerated Boucher somewhat by pinning most of the blame on the Flyers defense, which practically spent the afternoon escorting the Bruins to the net.
"It wasn't very good, the defensive play, especially, you know, right in front of our goaltender," Laviolette said. "Too many easy goals. Too many easy plays. We weren't strong enough right in front of our goaltender."
Boucher said he expects to be back in the nets for Game 2, but you never know with this team. As the playoffs progress, the alternatives seem less appealing. The Flyers claim Leighton is injured. Bobrovsky again looked skittish, allowing two goals while facing 10 shots. If the 22-year-old did something that encouraged Laviolette to go back to him, he saw something not many others did. Johan Backlund, anyone?
Among them, Boucher has proved the most adept at putting a poor playoff performance behind him and moving on, and he's well respected by his teammates.
"It wasn't a good afternoon all around for all of us," Boucher said. "We didn't get any breaks and we certainly didn't play all that well. At the same time, I don't see the need for a change, but we'll see what happens."
Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or firstname.lastname@example.org