TORONTO – One year after leading the Philadelphia Flyers to the Eastern Conference final, goaltender Martin Biron is trying to find that same top-end consistency.
He didn’t have any luck uncovering it on Wednesday night against the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Biron was pulled by Flyers coach John Stevens at 13:03 of the second period after surrendering three goals on 28 shots.
“I don’t like getting pulled and that’s the way it is and that’s it,” Biron said.
While the goals against Biron weren’t particularly bad, Stevens said he was trying to send a message to his team. The Flyers are 41-25-10 on the season and sit fourth in the East.
“I was trying to get everybody to stop, to slow down,” he said. “Sometimes when you make a change, it gets everyone’s focus back. That was the intent anyway.”
It didn’t happen, and the Flyers sleepwalked through a 3-2 loss for their third defeat in four games.
“We’ve had a few games like that,” Biron said. “We need to re-evaluate and go from there.”
Biron, 30, was one of the main reasons why the Flyers won two playoff rounds last season, but has endured an up-and-down 2008-09 campaign. He didn’t win a game until his fifth start, in late October. He missed a handful of games due to injury in December; and backup Antero Niittymaki took advantage of the increased playing time.
In the middle of February, Biron was 15-11-5 and riding a five-game losing streak. Niittymaki was 13-5-4 at the time.
Since then, Biron has won 11 of 17 starts including the loss to Toronto while Niittymaki’s last victory came on March 3 and he’s only had two starts since then.