Door No. 2 for Leafs and Sabres?
Both the Leafs and Sabres are thinking of using their alternate goaltenders tonight at HSBC Arena.
New backup Jocelyn Thibault hasn't played yet for Buffalo, with Ryan Miller going 2-2 in their first four games. And while Vesa Toskala doesn't deserve to get pulled after facing 51 shots on Saturday night in the Leafs' 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh, he has given up 12 goals in his past two games on 91 shots.
Andrew Raycroft has a record of 1-0-1 with a .918 save percentage and won twice in Buffalo last year.
Miller has been trying to deal with the loss of his close cousin, 18-year-old Matt Schoals, who died of a severe form of leukemia in East Lansing, Mich., last week. For the past two years, Miller has 'Matt Man' on the back of his mask, above a bulldog wearing a Michigan State jersey.
Miller went to East Lansing to see his cousin after a loss to the Islanders last week.
"It was better having gone to see him and be able to talk to him and tell him I love him and send him on his journey with him knowing that he meant a lot to me," Miller told the Buffalo News.
CANCEL THAT SUBSCRIPTION
The Leafs' poor road record could be blamed on a version of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx.
Each SI leads off with a few pages of outstanding photos and a March 2007 edition included a jubilation shot of the Leafs winning a 4-3 shootout in New Jersey, the night Tomas Kaberle was laid out by Cam Janssen.
But Toronto hasn't enjoyed a regular season road victory since, with seven losses last year and one in Ottawa on Oct. 4.
"This team feels comfortable on the road," said coach Paul Maurice yesterday.
PONY STILL LAME
Alexei Ponikarovsky skated in a track suit yesterday, and said his twisted ankle feels much better and is no longer swollen. But Maurice listed him as highly questionable.
Ponikarovsky said he's determined to take today's morning skate before counting himself out, but with potentially three more days before the Leafs play again, he agreed that caution might be wise.