Despite the team's five-game losing slide, coach Paul Maurice was leaning toward starting Andrew Raycroft between the pipes tonight against the Boston Bruins at the TD Banknorth Garden.
All the while, backup J-S Aubin can only wonder when he'll see action again.
Aubin has not played in nine games, a run dating back to Nov. 16 in Boston.
On that night he easily was Toronto's best player, stealing a point for the Leafs in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Bruins.
Because of a bout with flu-like symptoms, Aubin could not answer the bell two nights later, leaving Mikael Tellqvist to get the call for a game the New Jersey Devils would win 2-1.
Raycroft then returned from a groin injury and has played eight consecutive games since then, going 2-6 in that time.
"It's different for me, not playing so much, so I have to stay sharp and focussed and just wait my turn, whenever that comes," Aubin said yesterday.
Maurice showed little sympathy when asked about Aubin's inactivity.
"That's the job of a backup, isn't it," he said. "He's just got to stay ready."
When the Leafs defeated the Bruins 6-4 in Boston back on Nov. 9, they must have felt good about starting a run that featured five games in 28 days against their Original Six rivals.
But things certainly have gone sour since then.
After a 2-1 overtime loss on Nov. 16, the Leafs were handed back-to-back defeats at the hands of their Boston visitors at the Air Canada Centre.
Those losses -- 3-1 on Nov. 25 and 4-1 on Nov. 28 -- were a pair of dull exhibitions of hockey that could only be described as eye-glazing.
"We know what to expect from these guys, now we just have to go out there and counter it better," forward Chad Kilger said.
"It's important for us to get the first goal and change the tone of the game. If we don't we have to make sure we hang in there."