October 8 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Brian Boucher was stunned. And, understandably, pretty disappointed when coach Peter Laviolette informed him Wednesday that he would not be the Flyers’ starting goalie on opening night.
It didn’t even seem like a possibility, for Boucher or anyone else, that Laviolette would tap Sergei Bobrovsky, a 22-year-old untested Russian netminder, for the job.
“I was a bit surprised,” Boucher said. “I know Sergei had a great camp, and, obviously, it came down to a coach’s decision and that’s just the way it goes.
“I feel good about my training camp, so I don’t think it’s a reflection on that. It doesn’t affect the way I think about myself.”
Boucher and Bobrovsky posted the exact same save percentage and similar goals-against average stats in the preseason. But Boucher figured maybe, just maybe, his play that carried the Flyers not only into the postseason but halfway through the second round might have given him the benefit of the doubt.
Laviolette has shown little confidence in Boucher since taking over last December, except when Boucher has been pressed into service because of an injury.
“If I had a terrible camp, then maybe there would be some self-doubt,” Boucher said. “But I had a great camp and I feel like last year, when it was on the line, I did what was asked. And I feel good about that.”
Boucher said that Laviolette acknowledged he had a good camp but said he decided to “go with his gut.”
“It’s not just based on a day or 2,” Laviolette said of Bobrovsky. “From the time he’s been here, he’s been sharp. Every game, every situation, every practice, every scrimmage, he’s looked really good. We had to have a starting point somewhere. And I really like the way [Bobrovsky] has put together a body of work in the last month. He’s been very sharp every day.”
Even with the stunning decision, Boucher said it won’t change how he operates. That’s one of the reasons the 33-year-old has been able to survive going 3 months in between starts in a season and a trip to the AHL in the middle of his career.
“I’ve had so many challenges that it’s just . . . not a big deal,” Boucher said. “I come to the rink, I do my job and work hard. I need to be ready. Believe me, things can change on a dime.””
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