Monday, October 05, 2009

Leafs and Goaltending: Playing the Percentages

Even though the Leafs are just two games into the season the team is dealing with a so-called goaltending "controversy."

Fresh from off-season hip-surgery, Toskala has looked decidedly sub-par in pre-season and regular season action. He's surrendered 14 goals in his last seven periods of play and was pulled after giving up three goals on just eight shots against Washington, including whiffing on a forty-foot wrist shot just 17 seconds into the game (go team!).

His save percentage is a frightening .800

Waiting in the wings is one of Burke's big off-season signings, goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. He was considered by many to have been the best goalie outside of the NHL last season (note to so-called experts: does Raycroft being in the league have any bearing on this title?)

Leafs management are waiting until game day to confirm whether Vesa "punainen valo" Toskala or Jonas "the Monster" Gustavsson will get the start against The City That Fun ForgotTM SNES on Tuesday night.

It may be early, but given how tight playoff races in the East have been over the past three years - where every single point really matters - this decision could have a significant impact on the Leafs post-season aspirations.

The bad news is, the Leafs may be in trouble if they can't sort out their goaltending situation.

The good news is, the Leafs are covered by about 40 professional journalists who have incredible access to players, coaches, managers, agents and other various insiders. Sometime in June 2010 one of them will report on what was really going on in the room and just what Nonis, Burke and Wilson were thinking about Toskala early in this 2009-10 season.


  1. LeafFanInVan11:03 pm

    eyebleaf: playoffs!!1

  2. Paul Steckley12:46 pm

    This "controversy" started well before the season began. It started as soon as Burke signed Gustavsson.

    It's just more ridiculous reporting which I've come to expect from the Toronto media. The reporters were commenting in the pre-season that Leaf fans were wondering who would start the first game of the season. I don't know about anyone else, but none of the Leaf fans I spoke too thought anyone but Toskala would, or should, be starting that game. I hate having words put into my mouth by the morons passing themselves off as professionals covering the team I love.

  3. Things will come to a head in November when Kessel comes off the injury list. Burke will need to cut some salary to stay under the cap and if Tokala does not find his game he will be history here. Joey Mcdonald may be the starting goalie in the not so distant future.

  4. I agree with Pseudonym, although it would likely be Gustovsson, in the starting roll. If the Leafs aren't around the top of the division by that time, there likely won't be a huge push to try to get there, the team is still in re-build mode, and although it has been said that they are trying to make the playoffs this year, I don't think any of us would be to surprised if they didn't.