October 4 Philadelphia Daily News:
“In the NHL, much like the NFL, the final preseason game is less of tuneup for the 82-game regular-season march and more of a last call for players competing for jobs.
General manager Paul Holmgren said it best, when asked if the Flyers’ 9-3 drubbing by the Buffalo Sabres last night helped clarify any decisions still up in the air:
“Probably in a negative way,” Holmgren said.
No one was more negatively impacted than goaltender Johan Backlund.
Backlund, making his first preseason appearance after offseason hip surgery, entered the game with a chance to knock off Sergei Bobrovsky for the backup spot with Michael Leighton on the shelf for the first month of the season.
Instead, he was yanked from the game in the second period, leaving little doubt that surprising Russian prospect Bobrovsky will start the season in the NHL. Backlund allowed seven goals on 20 shots, including three goals against on his final three shots faced.
“My hip felt really good and didn’t bother me at all, but obviously I was a little bit rusty,” Backlund said. “It was a tough game. I know that I missed the beginning of the camp, so I was a little bit behind. I just need to try to forget this.”
Backlund received little support from his teammates, especially in the second period.”
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