Curtis Joseph gets the nod against the Ottawa Senators tonight. And his two wins have got me confident!
Let's lay it on the table right away, the Leafs owe Martin Gerber nothing, and judging from his play this season (and the fact that he was acquired through re-entry waivers), he has done nothing to earn the role as a starting goaltender. Under the circumstances, Gerber should be content with playing half of the remaining games.
While many have pointed out the Gerber would perform well in Toronto due to having no pressure, the Leafs shouldn't feel any need to appoint him as Toskala's replacement. Instead, it would be more logical for the Leafs, considering their current position in the standings, to split the rest of the games with Joseph and Gerber 50/50. After all, Gerber definitely won't be a Leaf next season, so the only thing he's playing for is himself. The Leafs, who sit 11 points from 8th place, will not make the playoffs. Period. Their season is officially over, so what's the harm in playing Joseph in more games? The Leafs have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Gerber may have the edge over Joseph in terms of value to the team (well, depending which way you look at it), but as I said, the Leafs have nothing to play for... except a top 5 pick. While it is still crucial for the Leafs to play their best goaltender, in respect to the team (telling them "Hey team! We're tanking because you're all incompetent! And Joseph, you can't stop a beach ball, so get out there and start playing," might not sit well with the team, or Free Agents who may be interested in coming here this summer), the Leafs have to start playing Joseph more compared to when he was backing-up Vesa Toskala.
The Leafs currently sit five points from a top 5 pick, and if they lose against the Senators tonight you can make that three points.
The Leafs can try winning the rest of their games, but I think I speak for the majority of Leafs/Tank Nation when I say, we're NOT behind you every step of the way!