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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.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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