Raycroft wants another shot

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

As a member of the Boston Bruins, Andrew Raycroft had some relative success against the Ottawa Senators, recording victories four times in nine outings.

Given the Senators' usual regular-season dominance over the Maple Leafs in the Battle of Ontario, even one win for the Leafs against the Sens would put him in good stead in Toronto.

But the new Leafs goaltender will have to wait at least one more day, despite making 32 saves in a 4-1 loss.

"I was not as nervous as I thought I would be, to be honest with you," Raycroft said after his Leafs debut. "I felt good all the way through, not too many butterflies, just comfortable."

Raycroft wants another crack tonight at the Senators in Ottawa, but he was not sure last night whether coach Paul Maurice would go with him or Jean-Sebastien Aubin.

"I don't expect anything anymore," Raycroft, 26, said. "I want to play a lot, but I'm not going to say I want to play and then it doesn't happen. It's out of my control."

GIANT REBOUND

Raycroft was sailing through a solid first period when he gave up a giant rebound during an Ottawa power play. Raycroft stopped Tom Preissing from the slot and the puck bounced directly to Patrick Eaves, who had the open net.

Chris Neil went wide on Hal Gill and then deked to his backhand for Ottawa's second goal and the game-winner, but the third goal was the backbreaker for Toronto.

Defenceman Christoph Schubert, who had four goals in 56 games last season, swept around the net and beat Raycroft between the legs from a bad angle at 11:29 of the second. That was just over a minute after Neil scored. In the final minute of the game, Daniel Alfredsson scored into an empty net.

"Really weird," Raycroft said of the Schubert goal. "Somehow it trickled through and it was one of those ones you don't want to happen, but sometimes it is unavoidable."

Raycroft, whose mask is custom-made with the likenesses of such Leafs greats as Bill Barilko, Frank Mahovlich, Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour (among others) was not going to lose sleep over the loss.

"We'll get up (this) morning and the sun is going to come up," the Belleville native said. "We did some good things and had some good chances, but we did not get the two points. That is the bottom line."


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