Flyers go with Cechmanek for the playoffs
RobBlakeTaken from NHL.com:
Forsberg cleared for Thursday playoff game
DENVER (AP) – Peter Forsberg has been cleared to play when the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche open their first-round playoff series Thursday.
Forsberg, sidelined all season due to foot injuries, is expected to be in the lineup against the Los Angeles Kings, Avalanche spokesman Hayne Ellis said Tuesday.
The All-Star center was projected to be out for four months after having surgery to repair tendons in his left foot on Jan. 10. He returned to the ice about three weeks ago and has been skating with the team.
Forsberg missed 10 months with a variety of injuries.
He had his spleen removed in an emergency operation on May 10, just hours after the Avalanche eliminated the Kings in the second round of the playoffs.
In July, he had surgery on both ankles, then additional surgery on his left ankle in Sweden.
The Avalanche claimed the Northwest Division title and finished second in the Western Conference behind the Detroit Red Wings.
Flyers coach Bill Barber has announced that Roman Cechmanek will be the flyers playoff goaltender, as most flyers fans expected. The decision was made to prevent a goalie controversy, but it’s obviously way too late for that. In this article I will present an arguement for either tender and my hope is that the flyers have chosen made the right choice. The numbers of the two are uncannily similar so the intanibles either goaltender has are what comes into play.
To start let’s look at Cechmanek, while he has yet to go deep in the playoffs, as this is his sophomore season, he does have a vast amount of experience in high pressure non-nhl games such as international games and the Czech league he played in. Also who can forget last year how well he played, he was hands down the MVP of the team and many people’s choice for the Vezina trophy. He recorded 10 shutouts and looked absolutely dominant at times. Now the negative side, this season hasn’t quite been the same for Cechmanek, perhaps it’s been the injuries he has had throughout the season, perhaps last year was just luck. Another area of concern, everyone knows that he makes routine saves an adventure, while he will make the saves most of the time, goaltending mistakes can be the difference between a series lead, or falling behind in a series.
Brian Boucher brings different aspects to the table: he has more playoff experience, he almost singlehandedly put the flyers in the stanley cup finals, had the team not collapsed in front of him, he would have. Who can forget that insane game in Pittsburg, he stopped 52 shots covering I believe 3 overtimes in which both goaltenders put on a show that will go down in history. However, Boucher has never really returned to form for an extended period of time, he showed flashes of his old self, but an injury ended that. Also, the team just doesn’t seem as offensive minded playing in front of Boucher, there seems to be a real lack of confidence in the forwards who will back check too much when Boucher is in net.
So, have the flyers made the right choice? I have to say yes. Cechmanek has looked good since returning from injury and is motivated to prove he was not a one year wonder last year. Barber’s confidence in him should only improve his performance in the playoffs, however should Cechmanek falter, I like having the luxury of having another qualified playoff goalie in Brian Boucher as back up. The flyers goaltending should not be an area of scrutinty this year in playoffs, but the big guns on offense, namely LeClair and Recchi must step up their games and perform up to their potential.