Joseph will start next two

Curtis Joseph borrows a helmet to work on his shot during Leaf practice on Monday. (Sun Media/Greg...

Curtis Joseph borrows a helmet to work on his shot during Leaf practice on Monday. (Sun Media/Greg Henkenhaf)

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:11 PM ET

Curtis Joseph will be in the driver's seat for the next two games, as the veteran goaltender tries to put himself and the Maple Leafs back on track.

"I want to give Curtis a couple of games here and find a rhythm here," coach Ron Wilson said this morning of starting Joseph at home tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers and New Year's Day versus Buffalo. "That's the plan I have right now, to see if he can find his game and show some confidence in him."

While an overworked Vesa Toskala can use the rest, the 41-year-old Joseph brings a record of 0-4-1, with a 4.12 goals-against average into tonight, having struggled right from training camp. It has been a combination of rust, poor defensive support and average play by a respected goalie, who came back here as a free agent looking to end his career on a high note.

"It just hasn't worked out, you know what I mean?," Joseph said. "There have been no lay-up games, either, but you have to find that edge. You've got to be the difference maker in the game.

"My first few starts were pretty good, the last two weren't. But I'm not going to base my career on those last two."

Joseph is still seeking career win No. 450, having not won since he played for Calgary last April. But he says he wasn't looking to just mail it in this year, that he wanted to approach the season as if he was going to play well into his 40s.

Wilson was also contemplating putting winger Ryan Hollweg back in the lineup against the Thrashers, after Andre Deveaux took a shot off of his foot in practice on Monday. Matt Stajan (eye), Mike Van Ryn (concussion) and Luke Schenn (knee) are also on the shelf as the Leafs begin a four-game homestand.


Videos

Photos