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Boosh is Back

Flyers goaltender returns for a third stint with the club

Wednesday, 08.26.2009 / 12:38 PM / News
By Kevin Kurz  - philadelphiaflyers.com
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Boosh is Back
(Voorhees, NJ) – Were you to attend any Philadelphia Flyers home game from 1999 through 2002, it never took long to figure out who was in goal that night. Even if you had walked into the building a little late, it only took one nice save from #33.

“Booooooosh,” as the crowd would call, is back.

Asked if he’s looking forward to hearing that once again, a smile quickly spreads across Brian Boucher’s face.

“Yeah I am. I haven’t heard it in a long time. The other cities I played in really didn’t do it, so hopefully the fans will continue like they did 10 years ago,” he said.
Brian Boucher was 12-6-3 with the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09. (Getty Images)

Boucher signed a two-year deal as a free agent with the Flyers over the summer, as the club completely overhauled its goaltending with the 32-year-old veteran as well as Ray Emery, who played last season in Russia.

The two goalies got to spend some time together in mid-July, when they were both a part of the Winter Classic press conference announcement at Fenway Park.

“I hadn’t met him before but he seems like a pleasant guy and nice guy and he’s a guy looking at his second chance in the NHL,” said Boucher. “With us, you’ve got two guys that are going to be pretty hungry and I’m sure we’re going to do a good job for this team.”

* * *

Boucher originally endeared himself to the Philadelphia fan base back in 1999-2000, when, as a rookie, he took the club to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals which it lost to the New Jersey Devils. In that playoff year, he went 11-7 with a 2.03 goals against average and .918 save percentage.

After a disappointing couple of years subsequent to that in which Philadelphia was eliminated in the first round, Boucher was traded to Phoenix for Michael Handzus and Robert Esche in the summer of 2002.

Boucher looks back on that time with brutal honesty.

“I think early on I had success…why, I’m really not quite sure, but I did, and the expectations I had for myself were a little high and maybe unattainable,” he said. “I kind of went sideways there for a bit, but now I feel like I’ve righted the ship and I feel good about my game.

“The most important thing for me is that I’ve grown as a person and I feel like I’m a good teammate.”

After bouncing around for a couple years with Phoenix, Calgary, Chicago and Columbus with minimal success, Boucher found his career at a crossroads. That’s when Paul Holmgren gave him a call.

“I was coming off of shoulder surgery in the summer [of 2007], and had a couple tough seasons, and it was tough to find a job,” he explained. “I wanted to go down to the minors and play. I didn’t want to go to Europe; I just wanted to find a place in the minors where I could play some hockey games and get my game back and my confidence back and show that I am still a good goaltender.

“I am thankful to the Flyers and Paul Holmgren for giving me a chance with the Phantoms. They didn’t have to do that. They’ve got guys they need to develop, and they found a spot for me. I got an opportunity to go to San Jose, and they let me go. And now, I’m back. It’s funny how that works.”

Boucher reestablished himself as an NHL goaltender during his two-year stint in San Jose, which picked him up midway though the 2007-08 season when he was playing with the Phantoms. Last season, he posted a 12-6-3 record in 22 games with a brilliant 2.18 goals against average and .917 save percentage in leading the Sharks to the best record in the NHL.

* * *

Boucher skated for the first time on Tuesday at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone with a mix of current Flyers, Phantoms and prospects. After signing with Philadelphia, he spent the majority of the summer home in Rhode Island with his wife and two children.

“It goes quickly when you have kids,” he said. “The summers get shorter and go by faster.

He completed the move over the weekend after a couple trips, and is looking forward to getting settled into an area he already knows very well.

“I’ve always enjoyed it here. It’s not too often you get to play in places that you really enjoy, and this is a place that I enjoy.

“I feel fortunate to have a chance to come back again.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 49 17 40 11 57
C. Giroux 48 16 36 6 52
M. Streit 49 7 28 -2 35
W. Simmonds 49 17 12 -5 29
B. Schenn 49 10 19 -3 29
S. Couturier 49 10 12 -1 22
M. Read 49 3 15 -9 18
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
M. Del Zotto 37 4 11 -7 15
V. Lecavalier 35 7 7 -10 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 9 12 6 .921 2.41
R. Emery 8 9 1 .887 3.38
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