Streaker

The rise and fall -- and rise and fall -- of Phoenix Coyotes record-breaking goalie

"Not really," he said.

But he answered them anyway. He did because he says he's getting better at letting losses go. He's learned that there will be good times and bad. "I'm a firm believer that everything goes in cycles," he says. He's learned that he can play well even if it isn't reflected in the box score. Indeed, when the Montreal Canadiens scored four goals on him March 5, Boucher shocked some members of the press when he said although the Coyotes lost, he thought he played a good game.

Three years ago, that never would have happened, Bob Clarke says, when told of the comment.

Brian Boucher on the night the shutout streak began, December 31, 2003.
Photo Curtesy of the Phoenix Coyotes
Brian Boucher on the night the shutout streak began, December 31, 2003.
Boucher makes one of his 21 saves against the Montreal 
Canadiens March 5.  The Coyotes would lose, however, 
4-3.
Emily Piraino
Boucher makes one of his 21 saves against the Montreal Canadiens March 5. The Coyotes would lose, however, 4-3.

This summer, Boucher might be picked as the U.S.'s goalie for the 2004 World Cup. Art Berglund, senior director of international administration for USA Hockey, says because of the streak, Boucher had played himself into contention.

Of course, Berglund says, he may have played himself out of it, too.

Perhaps fatherhood has offered the best coaching of all. Boucher says he's learned a lot from Tyler, his one-year-old son.

"Having a child definitely gives you a sense of purpose in your life," Boucher says, in a rare, revealing moment. "When you're young, you're so worried about your position. You want to stay in the league. On the team. Every day is a battle. A grind . . .

"I think me having Tyler has helped put those things in perspective. Helped me realize there are more important things than stopping the puck, or, if you didn't stop the puck, what are people going to think of you. Are you going to still be on the team? Are you going to still have a job? You work hard, you leave it on the rink, and whatever happens, happens."

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