Toskala's shootout struggles continue

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

Vesa Toskala is an avid fan of shootouts ...

When he's sprawled on the couch sipping on his favourite beverage, that is.

"I like to watch them on TV when other teams are playing," he said, breaking into laughter.

As far as actually strapping on the pads, pulling on his mask and playing goal in one of these penalty-shot formats, well, he has plenty of reason to dislike the entire deal.

Toskala's career record in shootouts fell to 0-6 last night, thanks to goals by Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn. Mats Sundin managed the only shootout goal for the Leafs.

The result was a 4-3 shootout loss by the Leafs to the visiting Montreal Canadiens, leaving the Toronto goalie once again wondering what might have been.

"I guess (the shootouts) are good for the fans, but I don't know if it's a fair way to get a winner," he said. "It's the same for everyone."

Despite watching his team go down to defeat for the seventh time in the past eight games, Toskala did see some positives.

"We didn't turn the puck over," he said. "You have to give them some credit because they have a good power play, but we did a lot of good things too. We had 46 shots.

"We played hard. It could be a big point. If we play like that all the time, we could win a lot of games."

The Leafs will attempt to right the ship tomorrow night in Atlanta. In the meantime, their shootout woes will continue to haunt them.

"We were the better team most of the night," said Sundin, whose tying goal with 18 seconds left sent the game to overtime. "It's tough to lose on a penalty shot when we worked so hard to come back."

The Leafs are 0-3 this season and 7-17 all-time in shootouts.


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