'Exploding' glove rocks Raycroft

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

Andrew Raycroft threw his white towel in the air at the final horn last night, relieved that he didn't have to wave it in surrender.

Raycroft put on a brave face after one of his worst games in goal, almost costing the Maple Leafs in a do-or-die game against the Montreal Canadiens. Paul Maurice hooked him after three goals in the first 7:37 of the second period, including a soft liner that clanked off his glove as part of Michael Ryder's natural hat trick.

"It was a little surprising to get pulled because I was thinking about trying to keep us in the game," Raycroft said. "But it was the coaching move of the year. It was huge. I will play and get pulled all the time if we win games like that."

Down the row in the Leafs dressing room, Jean-Sebastien Aubin had a bottle of red wine plunked in his stall by Ian White.

"(The switch) caught me off-guard, but if the guys don't play as well in front of me in the third (he faced just three shots), then we're not talking about me. I just didn't want to look bad."

Aubin's family in Montreal would have been shocked had they left the TV for a few minutes and then suddenly saw him play the role of spoiler to Quebec's playoff hopes in Game 82 of a national telecast.

"I didn't have time to think of any of that," Aubin said. "Maybe when I was 21 or 22, but not when so many (French-Canadian) goalies have played Montreal."

Raycroft said his glove "just exploded" on the Ryder shot.

"It caved in ... it was a tough one to miss," he said.


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