Leighton ready to rebound if he gets Game 2 nod
CHICAGO -- Considering how much he has been through in his career, it should come as no surprise that Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton was neither mentally shattered by being pulled midway through Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final nor planning to pitch a fit if he doesn’t get the start in Game 2.
The 29-year-old who registered three shutouts in the Eastern Conference Finals but allowed five goals on 20 shots in Game 1 of his first Stanley Cup Final met the media Sunday afternoon at the United Center:
Q. Michael, just your thoughts about getting an opportunity to bounce back tomorrow.
Leighton: I don't know if I'm starting yet. That's kind of up in the air. I haven't talked to the coach yet. But if I am, I'm just going to kind of approach it the same way I did the last game, just keep doing what I've been doing, and try not to think about what happened last night.
Q. Michael, how much of last night was a case of nerves for both yourself and a lot of your teammates? Was it the first time they had been in a Final game?
Leighton: Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous at all. … For my team, I don't know. But maybe it was that we had a couple of days off, and it just took us a little while to get into the game. We just didn't play our game last night. We're going to regroup and have a good one tomorrow.
Q. Just to follow up, you mentioned you hadn't talked to Peter (Laviolette) yet. How disappointed would you be if you didn't get the opportunity?
Leighton: Obviously, I would be disappointed. But we're in the Stanley Cup Final. That's not the time to be mad at someone if I'm not starting. If (Brian) Boucher goes in, he did a great job going in the other night. If he gets the start, then I have to support him. I'm not going to sit there and pout on the bench, because we're in the Stanley Cup Final. My goal is to win a Stanley Cup -- starting or off the bench.
Q. What do you learn in a game like that that might help two days later as you move on to Game 2?
Leighton: Well, me and (goaltending coach) Jeff Reese went over some video this morning. He showed me some positives and negatives. We went over something and said, all right, we have to change this a little bit or watch this and watch that. For the most part, you know, if we -- we know we're going to play better defensively in our zone. A couple of times we had four guys in front of our net, and they had one guy come in and get a clear shot, and that's not our game. We know we're a better defensive team than that. We're definitely going to show it next game.
Q. Michael, what didn't you do well, in your mind, after looking at the tape?
Leighton: Well, I didn't let any really bad goals in. That's the way I look at it. I didn't make some big saves. That's pretty much what it came down to. Every good scoring chance they had, they scored. And a couple of them were good shots. There's one or two that I was mad at myself for what I did. But that's the way it goes. That's the game of hockey.