The Flyers Need a Healthy Leighton
Paul Holmgren updated the media this afternoon on the status of Michael Leighton, who injured his back last Friday during the Flyers' preseason game in Toronto. Homer said that he was "not too concerned" about Leighton's injury and that he could resume on-ice activity on Thursday- at the earliest.
The obvious problem is that the Flyers' preseason schedule ends on Sunday evening, and the regular season opens up October 7th in Pittsburgh.
If Leighton is not ready to go, the Flyers would likely start the season with Brian Boucher in goal. As Broad Street Hockey outlines here, prospect Sergio Bobrovsky should play in Adirondack come next week, despite the fact that he has excelled in training camp.
Johan Backlund hasn't seen any preseason action due to off-season hip surgery, although he could appear in a game later this week should he continue to progress. Either way, I would be surprised to see Peter Laviolette start Backlund over Boucher in Pittsburgh if Leighton is not available.
The fact of the matter is that the Flyers don't have much NHL goaltending depth. If Leighton suffers a more serious injury at some point during the season, there is only Boucher and Backlund to replace him. While Boucher proved that he is a viable NHL back-up goalie throughout last season, I think it would be foolish to play a long stretch of games with him in net. The Flyers would be forced to make a trade or sign a veteran goalie to a one-year contract in the meantime, but as every Flyers fan knows, there isn't much cap room to work with. The Flyers need Michael Leighton to be healthy.