Raycroft tired of question

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

Yes, Andrew Raycroft is tired all right.

Tired of people always questioning what might be wrong with him whenever he turns in an ordinary performance.

To his credit, he's polite about it. He'll even joke about it like he did yesterday.

Pulled after two periods in the Maple Leafs' 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins Tuesday, Raycroft was informed by a broadcaster that there was talk of him being fatigued.

Raycroft's response? Laughter.

"I say every day I feel good," he said. "I mean, who starts these rumours? My mom? My fiancee? They are the only people I talk to about things like that."

Raycroft has started 21 consecutive games and is expected to carry the bulk of the workload for the remainder of the season.

"Fatigue comes from flying all the time to road games and travelling on a lot of late night buses," he said. "I'm no more tired than anyone else in this room.

"Playing this many (consecutive) games is not just a privilege. You have to earn it. "

Asked how he has been able to keep his stamina up, the Leafs goaltender replied, "Well, I'm not eating raw eggs or anything like that."

Having appeared in 51 of the Leafs' 60 games this season, Raycroft's heavy schedule is not unique to modern-day goaltenders. The New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur, for example, has played in at least 70 games for the past eight seasons and is en route to do it again.

Besides, Raycroft has a long way to go to reach the NHL record of 502 consecutive games played by a goaltender, one authored by the great Glenn Hall from 1955 to 1962.

"In a season, you'll have a blip game where the fickle hand of fate comes in," Leafs goaltending coach Steve McKichan said. "(Tuesday's loss) was one of those blip games.

"I don't think (fatigue) is a factor for Andrew. Brodeur and (Roberto) Luongo play a lot of minutes and they seem to do fine. Understand that with the lighter equipment being used by goalies these days, it's not as stressful as it used to be."

Backup J-S Aubin, meanwhile, must wonder what his future holds when his contract runs out. The Leafs obviously have put their trust in Raycroft and, with Justin Pogge continuing to develop with the American Hockey League Marlies, who knows how long Aubin's tenure with the Leafs will last?

"J-S works his butt off in practice," McKichan said. "There is no concern that he'll be ready when needed."


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