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Has Toskala silenced the goalie controversy?
Mon, November 5, 2007

For the first time since August, you won't hear about a Maple Leafs goaltending controversy in Toronto.

Vesa Toskala has closed the debate with a six-game run that ended Saturday night with a 32-save, 3-2 win in Montreal.

Has Toskala silenced the starting goalie debate in Toronto? Have your say in our forum.

Toskala's run quiets controversy



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28 Comments

I feel bad for Toskala. He's a good goalie on a bad team. I could say the same thing about Raycroft. Put a decent club in front of either of those guys and they would thrive. Toronto barely has a defenceman better then Ottawa's 4th or 5th defenceman, so it doesn't surprise me they are struggling so mightily. Let the goalie controversy rage on, as it is far from settled. Toronto has always needed a goalie that could stand on his head and steal games for them and unfortunately they don't have that kind of guy standing between the pipes for them this season. Enjoy the head start to the golf season, the Leafs must be getting used to it by now.
jamEs, 2007-11-07 12:32:53

Toady, You make some good analyses about each of the Leaf players and then end with "Fire JFJ" if they miss the playoffs again. That is exactly the kind of fire under anyone running the Leafs that PREVENTS them from making the decisions that have to be made to make the Leafs a real contender. The last really tough decision I've seen a Leaf GM make was to trade Wendell Clark for Sundin. There was wailing in the streets in Toronto and everyone, to a man, that I talked to said that they were ripped off and the Leafs had lost their heart and soul in that deal. Well, look how that one worked out after all these years. If they had traded Gilmour and Andreychuk at or just after their primes, not tried to fill the net with stopgap measures like Cujo and Belfour and not spent the last 10 years focussing on past due date players like Roberts, Lindros, etc., and gone with youth, then they may have missed the playoffs a few more years but gone to the finals maybe once or twice too.

I fail to see how the metric for success should be making it to the playoffs. Carolina won a cup, missed the playoffs last year and, rather than running Ward out of town and trading Brind'Amour, the management was allowed to deal with things the way they wanted to. No feeding frenzy, no blame games, no panick in the stands and look at them now. They have a legitimate shot of winning it again this year.

When the Leafs lose it does not automatically equate to "somebody's got to get fired for this", sometimes it just means that the team stinks. The Leafs of the '80s stank even more, but at least the fans went home applauding the grit and workmanlike effort of some of their favourite players in a losing cause. The TO fans have lost this ability, to appreciate the game rather than the victory, and until they get it back the management will be forced to pander to the boo-birds and deliver a watered-down and compromised product.
Rick W., 2007-11-07 12:25:01

Gerry Madden,

What does the goaltending situtaion in Ottawa have to do with this thread??

Your comments are totally irrelevant to the question about Toronto’s goaltender situation.

As far as I can see, the Leafs biggest problem is the defence. It doesn’t matter who is in the cage… with the way the D have played they will be hard pressed to be a .500 team. The season is far from over but, it almost seems that the players are not responding to the coaching and management. Time for a change!


PRICE, 2007-11-07 12:24:49

I think last night showed how horrible Toronto's defence is. The Senator's 2nd and 3rd lines seemed to move with ease in the offencive zone.

Should the Leafs even make the playoffs they'll be lucky to get through the first round without any notable defenceman.

JFJ needs to realize he needs to find a balance of keeping young draft picks and dumping overpaid veterans.

Maybe they can trade Sundin to the Sens for our cup run this year!!
JR, 2007-11-07 10:52:33

Gerber has proven himself. The team said (or rather vowed) last season they would be back stronger then ever. well, seems to me it's happening. And if Emery is backup goalie at this point that's not a bad thing. Anyways, the leafs lost last night cause they suck. the reason they suck is that city is so negative towards ottawa in general, they make the old boston Bruins look like Angels. and no wonder when you have idiots on that team like Kordic, Domi and Tucker.
Gerry Madden, 2007-11-07 10:35:56

I think the Leafs got all caught up in the fact that Bell and Wellwood were coming back and their offence would be really strengthened. Unfortunately though they forgot to play any kind of defense last night. Very unpredictable team as they seem to show up one night and not the next? Hopefully they can beat Buffalo on Friday and come back and try to get over .500 against the Rangers. Kaberle, Kubina are okay(not great) and maybe Gill(kind of slow). Mccabe is just awful on D when he plays, the others are just so-so. White is usually better but last night he did not play well. If the Leafs want to improve next year, draft a couple of defensemen for a change and keep them! I realize that it will be a hard battle to make the playoffs this year but if we do look out! If we do not make it, please trade Sundin so he can win a cup somewhere else, he is one of the best Leafs ever, highest skilled player on Leafs (Sittler maybe tied with him), Keon was great but I was a kid then so hard to remember 67 (I was 4 1/2). Only 6 teams have not made the finals since then including the Leafs, due to terrible management and ownership(Ballard,etc). Please fire JFJ IF WE MISS THE PLAYOFFS AGAIN!

GO LEAFS GO!
TOADY, 2007-11-07 10:22:58

Despite the fact that Toskala gave up four goals on thirteen shots, I believe he is a better goalie than Raycroft. His motivation to be number one may be higher, having been a backup and now having the chance to play the big role.

Raycroft shouldn't be willing to hand over the lead job so easily, but he has not shown brilliance to warrant the starting job. Yes, he did have an impressive number of wins last year, but it was the noticeable losses that haunt him. Teams lose games, and he shouldn't be faulted entirely for the ones that got away. One thing he hasn't done is score on his own net like his defencemen can.


Steve, 2007-11-07 08:50:13

Well Jake, we both predicted a Leaf win last night, you in this thread and me in another. I don't think either of us should quit our day jobs and take up crystal-ball gazing.
George O'Leary, 2007-11-07 08:38:06

All I'm trying to say is you can have the best goalie in the league, but with useless defenceman infront of them they're always going to get lit up.

I completely agree that Vesa is a better goalie, and Raycroft got blamed for the defencemans shortcomings last year. Neither goalie is a Kippr or Luongo caliber player that will carry your team through the playoffs without a little help from your defence.

And yes the Leafs need to make the playoffs to play the Sens, but with the worst defence in the league it'll be a tough.
JR, 2007-11-06 20:06:50

The Leafs are lucky to have Razor. The one two punch is key in today's game.
blue, 2007-11-06 19:13:48

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