Peter Laviolette knows who will be his starting goaltender for Game 6. But the Flyers coach just didn’t feel like clueing the media in on his decision.
“I don’t like to put things out before I talk to my team and talk to my players,” Laviolette said yesterday. “I want to make sure I do it at the right time and when I want to do it. I reserve the right to say when and where.”
Laviolette pulled starter Michael Leighton after he allowed three goals in the first period of Game 5. Backup Brian Boucher didn’t fare much better, surrendering four of his own — counting an open-net tally late in the third.
“Obviously, I needed to go in and shut the door to give us a chance to win,” Boucher said. “It didn’t happen.”
Coming off their worst loss of the Stanley Cup finals, Laviolette held a lunch meeting with his team yesterday, but gave the players the rest of the day off. The coach expects the Flyers to bounce back tomorrow night at the Wachovia Center. Since the Blackhawks are just a win away from winning the series, the Stanley Cup will be in the building.
“If any team gets it, this team gets it, because we’ve been here so many times,” Laviolette said. “Again, to have our back against the wall, we’ll be comfortable with this tomorrow.”