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I hate you, Toronto, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
Justin Pogge debuted his NHL career with a .905 SV% and a 2.00 GAA.

Not too shabby.

Pogge displayed an active glove hand, quick lateral movement, solid positioning and decent rebound control. An aspect of his game I was particularly impressed with was his ability to make himself look big. Possessing a 6'3, 205 pound frame, Pogge's size is best utilized when screened or making the save through a crowd – an aspect Vesa Toskala was not blessed with.

The prospect of appointing Pogge as the starting goaltender is an enticing one. The Leafs are a rebuilding squad that have granted rookies a vast amount of roster spots. The timing seems perfect to insert Pogge to the lineup and have him debut his career as the Leafs' starting goaltender.

But hold on. Let's consider the consequence to this decision.

Toskala's value. If Toskala loses his job to a 22-year old, the Leafs can forget about bringing in a potential 1st round pick for the Finnish goaltender.

Considering the Leafs' situation between the pipes, there is no point in playing Pogge right now. If the Leafs wait until either the NHL Trade Deadline or the 09/10 regular season, Pogge will still be there, and just as ready.

Despite Toskala's struggles this season, he is still a coveted asset in this league. A goaltender of his stature is best suited on a Cup contending team. Not a rebuilding team.

With just under three months until the Trade Deadline, it would be in the Leafs' best interest to utilize that time by letting Toskala regain his form. In the event of Toskala's dominance being rekindled, the Leafs could not only attain a 1st round pick, but prospects as well. If he continues to struggle with consistency, his value will still be higher than awarding his job to a young goaltending prospect.

The Leafs must exercise a quality they have not been familiar with in the past few decades.


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Filed Under:   Toskala   Pogge   Leafs   hockey  
December 24, 2008 12:45 PM ET | Delete
No way he'll get them a first. No WAY!!!
December 25, 2008 9:09 AM ET | Delete
Trade him along with Tlusty and Stralman, get some picks in return and then draft some real talent.
December 25, 2008 8:33 PM ET | Delete
Keon, I can't tell whether you're serious or being sarcastic...I know you're not a fan of Stralman. IMO Stralman and Pogge are going nowhere, they're the only bluechippers we have in our system, aside from Schenn who already plays for us. We can't afford to move them. Tlusty we can afford to move.
December 26, 2008 2:45 PM ET | Delete
1. You're dillusional if you dont think Toskola will get atleast a first. He's a better starting goaltender than anything the Kings, Washington, Ottawa, Colorado has, and at par with a handful of what other leagues have. Just because he's been hung out to dry by a weak leaf's Defence doesn't make him worthless. Leafs fans need to get over their attitude that every player the leafs have are either the greatest or the worst in the league. Toskola is an above average goaltender that can make 70% of a team's starts and plays very well for a defensively sound team. Watch how much he goes for-- i'm not even going to argue. Let reality make you realize your err. 2. I don't understand the whole trade top prospects for picks mentality. How good have the Leaf's drafted in the 2nd and 3rd rounds lately? Do you actually think anything will change this year? This is not a super draft folks. There is no hidden 2nd and 3rd round dynamo's just waiting for Burke to put his hand on their shoulders. We've got some talent in the system, we need to develop them and ADD MORE talent into the system. Stralman and Pogge go nowhere. Trading Tlusty for picks... maybe, but he needs to be given an honest chance first. I can see him being a 2nd or 3rd line winger some day.
December 26, 2008 2:46 PM ET | Delete
**leagues = teams...
December 27, 2008 1:37 PM ET | Delete
If Stralman and Pogge are bluechippers, then the Leafs are in more trouble than we think.
December 27, 2008 2:39 PM ET | Delete
Your kind of right about that. The Leafs are sorely lacking elite prospects, and Pogge is not "as blue-chip" as he was once considered. But he's projected to be a number one goalie and Stralman a top two defender, they're all we got right now, and it wouldn't make sense to trade them...considering they do have a wealth of talent.
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