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at Port Huron
When: 5 p.m. today
Radio: 1190 AM

Boucher getting back in swing

Oft-hurt goalie pain free after win

So here was the good news for Komets goalie Nick Boucher on Friday night: There was no bad news.

He turned away 33 of 34 shots and was sharp in a 4-1 victory over Quad City.

No body parts he was aware of were screaming at him.

The answer to the question “How do you feel?” blessedly, no longer required qualifiers.

“I’m starting to feel like I’m getting into a bit of rhythm,” he said, after picking up his ninth win of the season against five losses.

Rhythm is a good thing if you’re Boucher, because for most of this season it’s manifested itself only as a negative. There was, after all, a certain rhythm to the way he kept hurting himself.

“First 25 games of the year, I was hampered by a lot of injuries,” said Boucher, who has a goals-against of 2.71 to go with a 92 percent save percentage. “At the start it was my thumb, and then I came back from that, and then it was my finger and I came back from that, and then it was my knee.

“It was just one thing after another. Thank God Timmy was playing the way he was.”

That would be Tim Haun, who’s gone 15-8-0-2 with a 2.27 goals-against during Boucher’s frequent absences – including 6-1-0-1 in the last 10 games, during which his goals-against shrank to 1.87. And that included the 6-1 beating he took Tuesday at Port Huron.

Suddenly a solid goaltending situation looked a trifle shaky.

“I think one of the things we were worried about was Bouch hasn’t really been feeling it lately, and then Timmy didn’t have a good game in Port Huron,” Komets coach Al Sims said Friday. “And you’re wondering if Bouch doesn’t have a good game, then where are we?”

But Boucher did have a good game. He has, in fact, given up no more than two goals in each of his last four starts.

“He looks like he’s getting his game back to where we expect him to be,” Sims said.

Looks do not deceive.

“It’s tough to get in the rhythm. I think anyone who’s been hurt knows that,” Boucher said. “But like I said, I’m starting to feel comfortable and get that rhythm. Just being able to get in and practice consistently is huge. It’s not like a week here, a week off.

“For a goaltender to practice is extremely important. So to be able to practice as much as we have lately has really helped.”

As for Haun, Sims considers Tuesday an aberration, which means the goaltending outlook has gone from shaky to superb just in time for the rematch at Port Huron today.

“Timmy’s going to bounce back,” Sims said. “He hasn’t had many bad games, and it wasn’t really a bad game in Port Huron; we didn’t give him much protection. We definitely have one of the best tandems in the league.”

No qualifiers required.