Home Tags Posts tagged with "Vesa Toskala"
It was a game that was circled with a red marker on the calendar, for the Maple Leafs. They would travel to Denver to meet the Avalanche, but this visit had a different feel to it; a different aura. It was potential revenge for ex-blue and white-ers, and similar revenge for a team that struggled the last 3 seasons.
Tonight, the Leafs will play the Minnesota Wild. Justin Pogge will be joining the Leafs for the affair and will get his second start this season. Mike Van Ryn, despite feeling well over the last week, has finally been cleared to play for the Blue and White after suffering a mild concussion in mid December.
During my monthly fantasy hockey segments on Sportstalk Weekends with Rick Quinton on CKNW in Vancouver the fantasy scene always spills into analysis of real world NHL. Last night, with the segment winding down, knowing Iâ€™m from Toronto, the ultra-smooth basso-voiced host asked the question seemingly plaguing Leafs Nation.
Hey, B, where are the trades? Leafs Nation expected a roster overhaul with Brian Burke formally handed the keys to the franchise. So far, nothing.
This just in: we can officially put any and all Pascal Leclaire-to-Toronto trade rumours to rest.
“Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire will undergo ankle surgery Friday that will likely sideline him through the regular season.”
So THAT explains why they picked up Wade Dubielewicz last week.
Through 45 games the abject tandem of Toskala and Joseph has combined for the worst team save percentage in the NHL and by an ever increasing margin. Where .900 is seen as a barometer for average net minding in the modern game, the Blueshirted duo has managed just .886 between them. Subsequently the hard work put into making the Leafs sixth in shots against with a 28.3 per game average is being undone by a last line of defence that bares a startling resemblance to the Maginot line. Worse still the current status quo threatens to undermine the very rebuilding process Toronto are pinning their future on.
The latest from a source:
A combination of terrible goaltending and suspect defensive coverage undid the Maple Leafs tonight as they sat on an early 3-0 lead thinking they would ride it to the finish line, failing to take into the account the fact that, with a goaltender that’s seriously struggling between the pipes, leads can disappear on the turn of a dime, let alone over the course of 40 minutes. The end result is one which will please neither side of tanking/playoff spectrum.
Random thoughts and opinions from (roughly) the halfway point of the season:
* Glad to see the mustache is back in style.Â Â In fact, when I was younger I grew a goatee just because everyone else was doing the ‘stache.Â Then the ’93 Canadiens all grew goatees during their Cup run, and it became a social mainstay.Â Â Yes, folks, it’s true: my hatred of the Habs has nothing to do with the Leafs, and everything to do with facial hair.
Pretty darn close. Dale Mitchell is turning heads in the OHL, and itâ€™s not just because of his speed, itâ€™s because of his stats, albeit he is playing with Taylor Hall. Dale was drafted in the third round, 74th overall, of the 2007 NHL entry draft â€“ the same year Chris DiDomenico was drafted, so all in all it was a pretty decent draft year despite trading the 1st and 2nd round picks to SJS for Toskala. At the time, Mitchell posted an 80 point season (43G 37A) but was considered to be too small, even by todayâ€™s NHL standards (5â€™9â€ 180lbs).
In October 2008, a reporter set the Barilkosphere into a tizzy with a certain writing. The intention was simple, a deliberately cruel finger pointing at Leafs Nation.
The backlash was tremendous, and it inspired Pension Plan Puppets to trigger a massive response to the piece. It shows the unifying force behind the internet, allowing fans the opportunity to voice dissent.
I know, youâ€™re worried about value for Vesa Toskala and Tomas Kaberle. Well, donâ€™t. Their recent performance(s) are killing their market value, right?
No. Market forces and low-ball offers may hinder dealing them now, but as the trade deadline approaches, true value is more likely for the Buds. And thatâ€™s good, because both players are underperforming.
Being in full evaluation/negotiation mode in fantasy leagues, posturing for position and propping up a sagging roster, it got me to thinking about reality-based trade evaluation, and how appraisals are distorted by current production .. or lack thereof.
Slow starts off the hop have been endemic for the Leafs this season, but tonight went above and beyond a poor start as the listlessness didn’t seem to wear off until the second intermission. A woeful first two periods killed the Leafs, but they can take some solace in a much-improved third period of play that made the score-line respectable. Additionally, Bryan McCabe played a role in both the Leafs’ goals and Jason Blake recorded the team’s first shortie in over a year. So it wasn’t all bad.
I don’t care where in the tanking/playoff spectrum you stand, beating the Ottawa Senators is always sweet. Especially in a game riddled with physicality and controversy, against a rival considered at season’s dawn a contender vastly more talented than the re-building Maple Leafs.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting that Brian Burke has been kicking the tires on a more adequate back-up for Vesa Toskala than Leafs’ current incumbent, the antiquated Curtis Joseph. What was initially tabbed as win-win move has proved to be a misstep engendered by nostalgia. The mandate wasn’t overly demanding for Joseph as the logic was that Vesa Toskala, coming off an impressive first year as a full-fledged starter, would only require relief for 15 games on the season. This hasn’t worked out for two reasons – Curtis Joseph has not proven adequate enough to play at a passable level for 15 games on the season (4.12 GAA, 0.843 SV%) and Toskala hasn’t by any stretch of the imagination been the unquestioned starter he was last season.
Ron Wilson will stick with the struggling Vesa Toskala as his slumping Maple Leafs, fresh off two consecutive losses by a collective score of 12-3, look to get off the schneid against Alex Ovechkin’s red-hot Washington Capitals.
The Leafs goaltending issues at the NHL level have opened the door for some of their young goaltending prospects to strut their stuff and show everyone what they can do.
With Toskala resting a “sore groin” (that’s probably code for .881 save percentage) and Joseph looking like he should have retired, we saw the much talked about Justin Pogge get his first NHL win on Monday night against Atlanta.
I couldn’t catch the game tonight (count me among the lucky ones), but the stats tell the story — outhit 28-7 and outscored 4-1 by the worst team in the league. 4 goals conceded on 27 shots. The Leafs again prove to be the tonic to a struggling team’s woes, in this case a team that hadn’t won yet in the month of December. A real Leafs’ goaltending controversy is brewing. It’s time for Ron Wilson to give Justin Pogge another shot and hope he continues to shine in the spotlight so that Brian Burke can ship out Vesa Toskala before his value is non-existent, which it probably isn’t far off from already. Toskala’s recorded a putrid .882 save percentage so far this season and allowed 12 goals on his last 54 shots. Additionally, he seems to downplay his numerous blemishes with “just one of those nights,” and “some times those things happen” rationalizations. Still love him, Wilson? I know, Toskala has somewhat unfairly become the whipping boy after some pretty lame efforts from the Leafs as a whole, but you only have to look as far as a team like Ottawa to see how deflating anemic goaltending can be to a team. I don’t think Burke will wait long before addressing what has developed into a serious problem in the short-term and possibly the long-term, depending on how Pogge responds to [hopefully] further testing in the coming days. The trade freeze has been lifted as of a few hours ago and certainly a sense of impending change is in the air.
I’ll turn it over to you guys.
The Maple Leafs are looking to rebound from probably their worst effort of the season with a win over the John Tavares front-runners inside the Nassau Coliseum tonight.
Ed. Note: Lots of holiday reading going up today for you guys. Merry Christmas.
Here we are the Christmas break, and Iâ€™d like to take the time to look back at what we saw in September, what we expected by Christmas and what we envision for the future of the Blue and White.
Hmmm.. I just watched as a kid my brother used to beat in minor hockey lit up Toskala/Joseph for a hat-trick. Oh, and Wilson didn’t pull Toskala after the first because Joseph’s no better.
Thank god Pogge didn’t play. Toskala did himself no favours, but the Leafs didn’t show up to play. That simple.
If you a) actually opted to suffer instead of utilizing the obvious alternative on TSN (check out Aldred’s blog) and b) actually want to discuss this game, use this thread.
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