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"A Leafs Blog With a Brain"
Guelph, ON • Canada • 26 Years Old • Male
It will be a relief to some that I've yet to see Andrew Raycroft's picture on a milk carton (yes, Mrs.Raycroft, I'm sure he's okay). I drink a lot of milk (for healthy bones) so I would be the first to know were he missing from anywhere outside of the rink.

But missing on the rink he is. He hasn't started a game in what seems to be ages (November 18th I believe, but I've been wrong before). Now that any dreams (delusions?) of a playoff spot are firmly dissolved I think its time to get Andrew some action.

Now before you go jumping on me for advocating tanking the season for a draft pick let's have a dose of reality. After this hot finish, there's no way the Leafs are getting the first overall pick... there's no point in trying to lose. But there's also no point in burning out Vesa Toskala. Brodeur, Nabokhov, and Luongo play A LOT... it doesn't mean a guy who's never broken forty starts before now should be forced to double his former career high.

Raycroft is a huge disappointment. His failings in goal forced JFJ to acquire Toskala in yet another costly draft day trade. But throughout this entire ugly situation, he has been nothing if not loyal. I have heard nary a negative word from him in the zealous Toronto media, more than I can say for Jason Blake. Raycroft has not played well this year, but even when he was ineffective last year, he usually gave the Leafs a reasonable chance to win... he seemed to make saves, just not THE saves that as dysfunctional a team as this needs to succeed. Granted he wasn't the answer, but he also wasn't the sole problem. By my recollection he outplayed a badly fading Eddie Belfour from the year before.

I like Raycroft, he's a good earnest guy, and I wish that things could have worked out in Toronto for him. There is no conceivable way he is going to return next year to the Toronto Maple Leafs (the Marlies are a looming possibility). So why not give him a couple of the remaining games just to give Vesa a break and maybe give him a reason to take off that ballcap. There are just a handful of games left, give Andrew a third of them and just step back and breath. This team has been pretty hot of late (with the exception of the Boston series) and it seems although they might just as easily win with (in spite of?) Raycroft in the pipes. If he wins, great... maybe the guy can manage a smile while his career circles the bowl on the way down. If he loses, c'est la vie... the season is done... the worst case scenario is that the Leafs draft higher because of it.
Filed Under:   Leafs   Raycroft   Maple Leafs  
March 31, 2008 6:44 PM ET | Delete
I think that we should keep Raycroft next year allthough he wasn't an great goalie this year either was Toskala. At the begining of the year neither goalie was great but Raycroft was better. This all when the team was not at the top of the game. Once the team starting getting hot the only goalie that we say was Toskala, so we wouldn't know how Raycroft would have done with the team. Last year Raycroft had a team infront of him that was the top of the league in man games lost to injury, but yet Toronto was down to the final game in making the playoffs. This year with Toskala suspose to be the saviour of the team he wasn't put to par in my mind. Sure he is a good goalie but not a starter. With his salary going up to $4million next year, and Pogge playing really well in Marlies this year i feel that it is time to give Pogge a shot at the NHL. As long as we have Toskala, Pogge will never live up to his full potential. Also as bad as Raycroft played this year do u blame him for doing his bad. At the start of the season Maurice said that he wouldn't know who the starter was. At the begining of the season when Raycroft has playing well and Toskala was looking like he couldn't handle the pressure. Raycroft would get a win or play a really great game, and Toskala would get the start the next game. Also at the begining of the seaosn Toskala would get pulled from a game and guess who would start in net again TOSKALA. I feel that Maurice didn't give Raycroft a chance this year to prove himself. Another thing we say but the end of the season was Toskala starting to look like he was getting tired and couldn't handle playing too many games in a row, as he was going down way to early on allmost every play and rely on his glove to get him out of every jam as Boston started to caught on as a team with no more then 2 goals in a game blasted Toskala as he folded under the pressure again like he did at the start of the season and probally won't beable to handle it.
April 1, 2008 1:46 PM ET | Delete
Let's be real... he's never played more than forty games before... and suddenly Paul Maurice throws thirty straight at him... this isn't Martin Brodeur who was stretched out to playing 65-75 a season over the course of his career. There was no point at which Raycroft was playing well... let's go outside of statistics... last year (and this year) the Leafs could count on Raycroft to give up at least one weak goal a game... just one. But this is not a team blessed with talent that can afford the weak goal and still keep winning (Ottawa?). Raycroft didn't get a fair shake this season because he got 70 games to prove himself last year. He had the same conditions as the Leafs this year: injuries at various times, bouts of inconsistency, disinterest in the defensive end, and abundant workload. Toskala made a go of it, Raycroft did not. That's why we are where we are.
April 1, 2008 1:53 PM ET | Delete
Stats:Raycroft 06-07: 72GP (37-25-9), 2.99GAA, .894SVPToskala 07-08: 65GP (33-24-6), 2.65GAA, .907SVPRaycroft 07-08: 17GP (2-8-4), 4.07GAA, .868SVP
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