Coyotes with goaltenders to spare

Brian Boucher is the hottest goalie in the NHL with three consecutive shutouts.

Updated: January 7, 2004, 12:11 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
For an example of how fortunes can rise and fall, look no further than goaltender Brian Boucher of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Before the season began, Boucher had lost the goaltending battle with Sean Burke and Zac Bierk to fall to third on the Coyotes depth chart. Any other team could have had him for free if they were willing to pick up his $2 million salary, but Boucher went unclaimed in the preseason waiver draft.

By early November the 6-2, 198-pound netminder wasn't even practicing with the team after last dressing as a backup Oct. 23 and playing poorly in his only appearance Oct. 16 in a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay.