Toskala hits milestone

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

BOSTON -- Vesa Toskala was not about to crack open a bottle of his finest Finnish bubbly -- if, in fact, there is such a thing -- to celebrate his personal milestone.

Toskala recorded his 27th victory of the season last night, eclipsing his personal high of 26 set a year ago while he was a member of the San Jose Sharks. Yet when informed of his accomplishment, the Maple Leafs starting goalie was not even certain what his previous mark had been.

"I wasn't even sure what my career high is," Toskala said after the Leafs had humiliated the host Boston Bruins 8-2 last night at the TD Banknorth Garden. "Any way, I've played more games this year so I don't even know how you could compare this year with last."

While the victories increase, his goals-against average and save percentage continue to shrink. If the Leafs are to pull off a Cinderella run down the stretch and sneak into the playoffs, it will be on the shoulders of Toskala and captain Mats Sundin.

If they don't reach the post-season, Toskala certainly will warrent consideration to represent Finland at the upcoming world hockey championship. The event will be held May 2-20 in Halifax and Quebec City.

Would he go if asked?

"It's a very tough question," said Toskala, who made his 20th consecutive start for the Maple Leafs last night. "Maybe."

Talk about sitting on the fence. Surely Toskala could be more definitive.

"Okay, yeah, for sure it would be nice to be considered," he said. "But there would be a few things I would have to figure out.

"Besides we're still concentrating on the playoffs right now."

Those sentiments were echoed by defenceman Bryan McCabe. The much-maligned blue-liner tied a single-game career high with four points, thanks to a one-goal, three-assist performance.

"We can't worry about how other teams are doing," McCabe said. "You have to expect the other teams to win. We just have to keep winning ourselves."

The goal, which deflected off Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew into the Boston net, was McCabe's first since Nov. 20 against these same Bruins. Keep in mind that he missed 22 games with fractured bones in his left hand.


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