No Razor-razzing on T.O.'s streets

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

No one has spit in his soup or egged his car.

Not yet anyway.

In fact, often-jeered Maple Leafs goaltender Andrew Raycroft said fans around town have treated him with class and respect whenever he is out in public.

At least away from the rink.

Inside the Air Canada Centre has been a different story.

While Raycroft and defenceman Bryan McCabe have been the popular scapegoats of the disgruntled Leafs Nation for a second consecutive season, it is interesting to see how the boo birds often overlook the struggles and screwups of other Leafs players.

When starter Vesa Toskala was yanked after allowing four goals in less than a period against the Washington Capitals on Monday, there was just a smattering of heckles as he skated off the ice.

Of course, when Raycroft took over between the pipes, he was greeted with Bronx cheers every time he touched the puck in a game the Leafs eventually lost, 7-1.

Why was he raked over the coals while Toskala escaped relatively scott-free?

"That's just the way it is," Raycroft said yesterday. "You just learn to live with it.

"There might be 20,000 people in the building on any given night but no one is a bigger critic of my game than I am. I mean, how is someone sitting 400 feet away going to know better how I may have just made a mistake better than I do?

"Listen, I understand that the views of some people don't neccessarily translate into how everyone feels.

"It's not just the 20,000 people inside the rink. When you play for the Leafs, you are aware that there are a million more watching you on TV."

Raycroft said the public has been relatively polite to him when he is recognized in street clothes.

"It's funny, but I've never had anyone tell me: 'I don't want your autograph.' Or: 'Go walk on the other side of the street.'

"Never."


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