Tales of the demise of Andrew Raycroft have been completely blown out of proportion, the Maple Leafs goaltender insists.
"(Public opinion) is swayed by the media," Raycroft said yesterday. "You lose a few games and all of a sudden people want to come out and say that you suck. They think you don't have confidence in yourself.
"That's not the case at all. I feel good about my game. You go through stretches. It doesn't matter who you are, you need to be lucky, you need to get some breaks."
Raycroft was asked how difficult it is to shake off a subpar effort.
"As a goalie, you need to have amnesia."
Meanwhile backup J-S Aubin remains unrattled after getting the hook early in Toronto's 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Air Canada Centre Tuesday.
"You can't just look at one period, one game, one goal," he said. "It's an overall thing. If you look at the past month I've played pretty well.
"It didn't happen for me last game but that doesn't mean they were terrible goals. It doesn't mean I had the worst game of my life. But when you don't play a lot and I don't get the chance to redeem myself right away, I must keep working hard."
All the while, he is subject to the scrutiny that goes hand-in-hand with playing in Toronto.
"Exposure, whether good or bad, is still exposure," he said. "I don't mind it."
It's very rare that you would remain buddies with someone that fired you.
But that's exactly the case with Paul Maurice, who was axed by Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford exactly three years ago.
"He gave me my first job running the junior team in Detroit," Maurice said. "I was only 27.
"Even as freinds there is tension when you are scratching and clawing to make the NHL playoffs.
"He's even a better friend now. He's been a good influence and had some pretty damn good advice."
Like urging Maurice to take the job coaching the Marlies last year.