This is one of my blogs from early on during the year (on a different site obviously) about my thoughts on Raycroft. It received some very harsh feedback from Leafs fans. Now that I look back on it, it's interesting to look back at a few of the points I made.
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Yes I know it is early in the season, and I do know that players are still getting their legs behind them but I have a few concerns about Maple Leaf goaltender Andrew Raycroft. The new NHL has fast paced play and an emphasis on rebound control for goaltenders. Defencemen can no longer tie up forwards with their stick when a goalie lets out a juicy rebound. Raycroft has been making saves he doesn't need to make. Unnecessary rebounds are being let out right back into the slot, but so far this year Raycroft has been getting across and making "great saves". These saves don't have to be made and are wasting energy. When the leafs beat Ottawa 6-0 on Thursday night, Senators goalie Martin Gerber was coming off a first star worthy game on opening night. Gerber played exceptional on opening night and had great rebound control, but that wasn't the story in the 6-0 loss. Sure a couple of the goals he had no chance at (the Ponikarovsky tip in mid air) but most of the others wouldn't of even happened if he just covered his rebounds. Back to Raycroft, he has played very well lately but I'm afraid that it won't last. When goalies play with no rebound control they are very streaky. The goaltenders with great rebound control are great every night (Lundqvist, Brodeur, Kiprusoff) sure they have the odd off game but it's only human nature. Goaltenders who don't put emphasis on rebound control are taking a huge risk of having an off game more often. I will continue to monitor Raycroft's play in hopes that he will cover his rebounds, because I don't don't want to end up hearing rumour after rumour of "Raycroft being shopped by Leafs" because if he keeps playing like he's playing now, the rebounds are going to start going in.
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