Goalie Controversy?!?!?

Gary Rothstein/Icon SMI

I had an epiphany of sorts last night while watching the Canadiens vs. Panthers game on TSN. What provoked this profound insight was the pre-game show, in which Glen Healy was asked, ‘Out of Florida, Toronto and Ottawa, who has a goal tending controversy?’. In a rare moment of brilliance, Healy responded by saying that the Toronto Maple Leafs were the only team out of the three who had an actual, bona fide goalie fueled conflict.

The Ottawa Senators have Martin Gerber, who is the declared starter until he has a lapse of sorts, and Florida has definitely designated Thomas Vokoun as their number one guy. However, in Toronto, both Toskala and Raycroft have been playing exceptionally well in a split schedule, although the statistics do not necessarily support this finding.

While Toskala’s numbers are markedly worse than Raycroft’s thus far in the season, one must also take into consideration the fact that Toskala has had to deal with more shots and a lot more defensive lapses, against better teams, than Raycroft has had to put up with so far. Nonetheless, these defensive lapses do exist and losses continue to pile up. Both goaltenders have sub-par records as of this point and I find myself constantly wondering who will start the next game. Such is the case on Thursday; Will it be Toskala or Raycroft (I will personally be at that game)?

Devilish thoughts continue to pollute my mind with regards to Paul Maurice’s coaching strategy, and I wonder, at times, if he has handled his goal tending situation properly. He has not allowed one of the two goaltenders to start a series of games in order to establish some kind of rhythm, and, although competition is necessary for the success of either goal tender, it seems as if both goalies have not received a reward (in playing time), even when they perform well. Losses, goals against and save percentage does not always divulge the entire story behind a game, and Maurice needs to allow one of these two goaltenders to establish some form of constancy (preferably Toskala). Declare a number one and 1B, instead of insisting that both of your goal tenders are of equal skill level.
I do understand that Toskala, as well as Raycroft, are both younger goaltenders in terms of NHL experience at the starting position. Similarly, I understand that neither goalie will be expected to start 60 or 70 games, and that the season must be divided along some lines. Nevertheless, these games should not be divided upon a game-by-game basis, but rather by a series of games, so that the players become comfortable with one another, and have an opportunity to showcase their skills and a sense of dependability. Realistically, if you want competition, allowing the goaltenders to play a large set of games will allow you to determine, not only if a goaltender is capable of being the official starter, but also, if they can be a true playoff performer.

Obviously, this is my personal opinion, and it is subject to criticism. My question to all of you is multi-pronged; Is there a goal tending controversy in Toronto?; How well do you think Maurice has handled it?; Who will start Thursday’s game? As always, I look forward to everyones input, positive or negative. Thank you very much.

13 Responses to Goalie Controversy?!?!?

  1. RealisticLeaf says:

    The only controversy is the pathetic defence.

    both Goalies have played well given what has happened.

    Pretty much a wash till the D gets sured up.

  2. FarFromFreedom says:

    both goalies have played very well but that defence has been awful. Its not just six guys .. the entire team has lacked defence all season and if Toronto wants to make the playoffs they better come up with a way to figure it out fast. 1-2-2 trap maybe?

  3. senators101 says:

    There's not controversy in their defense — no disagreement.  Everyone knows they blow lol.  I said it last year and I'll say it again, it doesn't matter who is behind that defense, they can't succeed.

  4. leafy says:

    Let's get the team to start playing a little better before we begin debating the goalie controversy.

  5. leafy says:

    2 years ago and this year, I agree with you.  Not last year.

  6. flamingsenator says:

    goaltending controversy?…no
    defence problem?……yes
    defence look good on paper?…yes

    i despise the leafs….but i think they have a lot of talent on the blueline. McCabe is a good player but paul maurice's isnt pushing the right buttons at all to get him going.

    i really think Toronto needs to revamp the defense……i just dont think they will be contender until they get defensive forwards…losing peca last year hurt the leafs pretty bad

    meh…thats my 2 cents
    if anyone finds it hard to read..i have one thing to say
    "me fail English….thats unpossible"

  7. devilsfan13 says:

    IMHO Raycroft>>>Toskala, Raycroft is not as pressured to play superb and Toskala is now with that new contract and he cant handle it that my opinion and the D just flat out sucks balls, all if them i woulod make a trade or a scratch to Kubine, McCabe and Gill those 3 arent doing shit make a trade bench do womthing if u wanna win

  8. jarcpitre says:

    To me its easy who should be playing, its Raycroft. He has 1 win and 2 otl, a 3.19 GAA and a 903 save percentage, not really that bad for a team that has been scored upon 3 most. Toskala will get either the start against Florida or Chicago, but I see Razor starting against Florida and if he gets the win then he gets the start the next game. All in all both goalies have been playing well, but have been fed to the wolfs, the team defense is horrible, not just D, there are 5 guys on the ice that have to cover a man.

  9. Rysto says:

    <i>The Ottawa Senators have Martin Gerber, who is the declared starter until he has a lapse of sorts</i>

    Gerber's the starter over the guy who saved the Senators' 2006-2007 season and led them all the way to Stanley Cup Finals, besting Ryan Miller and Martin Brodeur in the process?  On the basis of 6 games in which Gerber ranged from "good enough to win" to "played well".

  10. Shorts_Pimp says:

    Ya, but until he starts to lose games. He's the starter. You never change a winning team.

  11. Hoondog2 says:

    I find the way Maurice is handling the media pretty comical.  He's holding a carrot out, and the media is falling over each other trying to get it.  The media in Toronto is rediculus.  I think Maurice should play a goalie until he loses.

  12. senators101 says:

    On the basis of 6 games, which ones did you watch? By any chance did you happen to see the game against the Rangers where he was lights out and deserved a shutout and made some monster saves?  That's not "good enough to win" or "played well" thats some high quality tending there behind a defense who are giving up an unusual amount of shots.

  13. leemon says:

     To me the he real controversy is why is maurice playing McCabe 30 minutes a night i think that McCabe could steady him self if  he didn't play so many minutes.He's a 22 to 24 mins a night D-man and besides White and Gill have shown they can Handle some more reponsibility. The faster that Muarice realizes that the better,Cause right now i see alot of stubborness that Pat Quin used to have.How else do you explain leaving our goalies in for 7,8 goal games and over playing underacheiving D-men that can't live up to there contracts.

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