Flyers goalie Michael Leighton couldn't sleep the night he allowed a bad overtime goal that enabled the Chicago Blackhawks to clinch the Stanley Cup with a 4-3 victory at the stunned Wachovia Center on Wednesday.
"It's tough enough that we lost," he said Friday as the players gathered for meetings with coach Peter Laviolette at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. "Even if it was a good goal, you're still going to be disappointed that you lost. I think for me, it was like a double whammy. You let in a soft goal to end the season."
Leighton told goalie coach Jeff Reese he would "love to get back out and play tomorrow or today and erase that from your mind and get at it again. It's going to be a tough few weeks to think about it, but in the long run, we did a great job and I'm proud of this team and what we accomplished."
Leighton, who hopes to sign with the Flyers and not take the free-agency route with another team, said his spirits improved dramatically when he was introduced to the crowd and received a standing ovation at Thursday's Phillies game.
"I wasn't sure how the city would react," said Leighton, adding he received positive comments from fans throughout the game. "Obviously, there could be a little of blame pointed at me, and just to be there and have them support me that way and to see what they're like, that was definitely an honor and it felt good. It definitely doesn't brush away everything that happened, but it definitely made me feel a lot better."
Added a smiling Leighton: "I didn't know if I was going to get booed or cheered, and it was a great ovation."
At first, Chris Pronger didn't want to answer the criticism leveled at him by seldom-used Chicago forward Adam Burish.
"I don't really comment on people who aren't really around and just want five minutes of fame," Pronger said.
A few minutes after Chicago captured its first title since 1961, Burish told an on-ice TV interviewer that Pronger was "the biggest idiot in the league" and that "I hope I never have to see him again."
Later, Pronger, widely regarded as a future Hall of Famer said: "I will say, if you're going to make a comment like that five minutes after you win the Stanley Cup, you probably have better things to worry about."
"Did he play?" Pronger asked.
In just three of the six games.
"There you go," he said.
Told that Burish said he wanted to punch Pronger, the defenseman said: "Where's that, in the minors?"
There was laughter.
"Touche," Pronger said. "Next question."
Goalie Johan Backlund, who will undergo minor hip surgery in the near future, has agreed to a two-year contract, general manager Paul Holmgren said.