It may sound obvious that the Philadelphia Flyers would like to keep their hot goaltender in Michael Leighton. I have serious reservations to giving him a long-term deal despite his blazing hot playoff run. I know you may think I’m an idiot, but remember the Flyers have been burned numerous times by goalies who were hot in the playoffs, but couldn’t sustain their success in the following season. Think Brian Boucher (the first time), Roman Czechmanek, Marty Biron….the list goes on.
But despite that, it seems like the club wants to keep Leighton.
A team source tells Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Philadelphia Flyers are interested in re-signing 29-year goalie Michael Leighton. Leighton has been phenomenal since taking over for Brian Boucher in the playoffs. He recorded shutouts in three of the last four games against the Montreal Canadiens.
The source said that Leighton, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, has become a top priority for the Flyers this offseason.
“Goalies sometimes develop later, and that seems to be the case with Michael,” the source said. “And he works so well with [Flyers goalie coach] Jeff Reese.”
In the playoff, Leighton is 5-1 with a 1.37 goals-against average and .951 save percentage. That’s insane. No Flyers goalie has ever recorded three shutouts in a single series, and no one has done that to the Habs in their 101 years on the planet.
And no NHL goalie has ever one all four games of a series by a shutout. Tonight, Leighton has a chance to do that.
But still, I say buyer beware. Keep in mind that the Flyers’ defense has done an incredible job of blocking shots and clearing his rebounds. That’s what scares me the most about Leighton: the rebounds. He gives up some juicy ones. But, again, the Flyers’ D has taken care of those pretty darn well. If they don’t, they can easily turn into goals.