The only people celebrating Andrew Raycroft's groin strain could be the Aubin clan of Montreal.
A few days off for the Maple Leafs starting goalie will mean their man, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, will get to work the Hall of Fame game against the Montreal Canadiens tonight. He'll face his hometown team on national television, with Quebec goaltending legend and Hall inductee Patrick Roy on hand.
"That's cool," Aubin said yesterday. "But the most important thing is the two points. I've not been as good as I was last year. I'm trying to get my game back where I feel comfortable again."
Usurped by the Raycroft trade, Aubin still has some impressive numbers as a Leaf, 10-1-2 since last March. He made a stunning rollover pad save in relief of Raycroft on Thursday in Boston as Toronto held on for a 6-4 win.
"It has been deja vu my whole career," Aubin said of the constant battle to prove worthy of more NHL work.
La Belle Province gets a little extra bonus tonight when the Leafs' other hyphenator, Jean-Francois Racine, gets TV time on the bench. He was promoted from the Marlies with Mikael Tellqvist (fractured finger) still not ready to come off the injured list.
As for Raycroft, you can add temporary blindness to his ailments from popping flashbulbs and TV lights as he came out of the room to update his condition. A mild groin strain didn't generate this kind of interest in his Bruins days.
"I feel okay, nothing changed overnight," said Raycroft, who was concerned about the effects of the plane ride home. "You could say Thursday (the next game after tonight, back in Boston) is a target."
Coach Paul Maurice, already without captain Mats Sundin because of an elbow ligament tear, had his spirits buoyed by the win in Boston, which was Toronto's sixth in seven games, the encouraging report on Raycroft and a favourable schedule. Since the Sundin injury, Toronto has 10 games over 24 days.
"If there was going to be three weeks for this stuff to happen to us, this is the right three weeks," Maurice said.
Aubin's most recent game was a 5-4 shootout win in Montreal on Oct. 28, making him 3-5 career against the Habs. The 29-year-old was asked if he ever fantasized about playing there, or like ex-Leaf Felix Potvin is content on the outside looking in.
"I know my family and friends would like it," Aubin said.
In addition to Roy, tonight's Hall inductees will be ex-Leaf and Hab Dick Duff, Calgary Flames executive Harley Hotchkiss and Dan Brooks, son of the late Herb Brooks. The Leafs will also be honouring Canadian veterans and those killed in Afghanistan as part Remembrance Day.