“Unite & Fight” were the words printed on the complimentary orange T-shirts given to fans entering the Wells Fargo Center prior to Game 7 last night.
It’s been the unofficial motto — whether voluntary or forced — taken up by Flyers fans as they’ve watched coach Peter Laviolette play Russian roulette with his goaltenders.
“It’s embarrassing. They haven’t had a legitimate goaltender since Ron Hextall,” former Flyer turned TV analyst Jeremy Roenick said.
The Buffalo media has nicknamed the Flyers’ goaltending triumvirate, “The Three Stooges.” The hometown fans won’t go that far, but they are questioning Laviolette’s methods.
“It’s kind of stupid, to keep changing goalies,” said Jay Sewell, 26, of Glendora, N.J. “But at the same time, we don’t have any options.”
Sewell said he didn’t agree with Laviolette’s decision to start Michael Leighton in Game 6.
“He should have started Boosh [Brian Boucher] the whole time,” Sewell said.
Despite all the back and forth, fans don’t seem angry. And most were overjoyed to see Sergei Bobrovsky listed as the backup in Game 7.
“They need to keep working Bob [Bobrovsky] in. He’s got great potential,” said Dan Lewis, 27, of Deptford, N.J. “I’m not pissed off. It’s just a matter of seeing what is going to work or fail.”
Laperriere up for the Masterton
Ian Laperriere is one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
He’s up against Ducks goaltender Ray Emery and Flames forward Daymond Langkow. The winner will be announced June 22.
Laperriere hasn’t played for the Flyers this season as he recovers from post-concussion syndrome. He was placed on long-term injured reserve in mid-December to free up salary cap space. Laperriere has been hit in the face by pucks twice in his NHL career.