Maple Leafs netminder Vesa Toskala and Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas are a study in contrasts in the early stages of 2008-09.
The Leafs have a winning record, but not because Toskala, who said he "feels good," has been stellar. He's on the Eastern Conference all-star ballot even though he sports a 3.00 goals-against average and a .887 save percentage. Those aren't good numbers.
"He has been up and down," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "He has to be a little more consistent, but we have to do a better job in front of him too. We are in shooting lanes but we are screening and not trying to block the shot. Once you are committed to being in a shooting lane, your job at that point is to not let the puck go by you."
Thomas, on the other hand, has a 1.83 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage.
But Thomas, who played in last year's all-star game as an injury replacement, was left off this year's ballot despite his hot start, which included two shutouts last week.
"I can only control what I can control," Thomas said. "I just have to keep doing what I've been doing to help this team. I think I have been underrated quite a few times in my career. Sure it fuels the fire."
"Not that I know of."
-- Wilson, when asked if Jason Blake would be a healthy scratch tonight. The same lineup that lost to Carolina on Tuesday should be intact, which means defencemen Carlo Colaiacovo and Jonas Frogren, and forward Ryan Hollweg, would sit.
Tonight, 7 p.m., at TD Banknorth Garden. (Sportsnet).
Injuries: RW Chuck Kobasew (leg) and D Mark Stuart (flu) are game-time decisions.
Who's hot: Marc Savard leads the team with five goals and 10 assists and has counted at least a point in each of the past five games ... Phil Kessel leads the team with seven goals.
The Skinny: Bruins are coming off a fight-fest with Dallas which resulted in a combined 146 penalty minutes (Boston 77, Dallas 69) the most PIM in a game by the Bruins since Feb. 28, 2002 .... Thomas' back-to-back shutouts last week was the first by a Bruins goalie since Byron Dafoe in April 1999.