Monday, November 8, 2010

Raycroft vs. Toskala: The Case of Too Many Goals Against

raycroft toskala leafs suck
After turning back the clock and examining the foulness of the JFJ era in Toronto I inevitably began to think of Andrew Raycroft and Vesa Toskala. How could I not? And anytime you think of either Raycroft or Toskala you have to think about how terrible they were.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of things like this I get mad. I know I shouldn’t. It’s silly to get worked up over sports, but I do. It saves me from getting upset over real things. There’s no hot water in the apartment today? Well, that sucks. But not as much as a .874 SV%.

As I thought about these two pseudo-goalies I began to wonder, which one do I dislike more?

Let’s make the case for each.

The Case for Andrew Raycroft

- The Leafs traded Tuukka Rask for him.

- He’s tied with Ed Belfour for most wins in a season by a Leafs’ goalie with 37. I’m so ashamed that this is in the record books. He’s there because Paul Maurice lost faith in J.S. Aubin as a back-up (obviously) and refused to start anyone but Raycroft. Razor won those 37 games by being in the net for 150 games that season; it wasn’t because of his talent (2.99 GAA, .894 SV% - good for 49th and 56th in the league). It’s like how Lenny Wilkens has the second most wins as a coach in the NBA. What people fail to mention is that he’s also lost the most games in NBA history.

- I also hated how Raycroft would always throw this record in everyone’s faces when they brought it up as if he was oblivious to how bad he actually played that year. Typical reporter-Raycroft interaction - Reporter: “Hey, Razor, you’ve been pretty bad this year.” Raycroft: “I think my 37 wins last year speak for themselves.”

- Furthermore, he was snarky in general.

- He’s like the Leafs version of Jim Carey, except that at least the Washington Capitals were able to enjoy Carey’s one season of excellence. The Leafs are more like the Boston Bruins – the suckers that traded for Jim Carey. Speaking of Jim Carey, the year he won the Vezina his SV% was only .906. There are people who didn't wear masks and wore pillows as chest protectors that have better stats.

- He was so bad JFJ traded more assets for Vesa Toskala the next off-season.

- His middle name is Ernest. I hated those Ernest movies AND Hey, Vern.

- His facial hair was meager at best.

The Case for Vesa Toskala

- In true Leafs fashion, he cost the team a first and fourth round pick. Because a Leafs GM with a first round pick will do as much good as a Leafs GM without a first round pick.

- The Leafs traded for him instead of trying to acquire Ilya Bryzgalov. The Ducks eventually put Bryzgalov on waivers, meaning the Ducks would have taken anything for him. Both Toskala and Bryzgalov had similar numbers in the two years after the lockout (Toskala had a lower GAA, whereas Bryzgalov had a slightly better SV%), although, Toskala started in the 2006 playoffs for the Sharks, which probably was the reason JFJ acquired him over Bryz. Look at me defend JFJ after I thoroughly trashed him a week ago.

- He was supposed to be good. That’s the worst thing about Toskala. Everyone agreed that he was an upgrade in goal over Raycroft (technically, he was, but the bar wasn’t set very high). Everyone thought he was the type of goalie just waiting for a starting job to blossom into a star. He was supposed to be what Ilya Bryzgalov is.

- After the Leafs traded Toskala to the Ducks it was revealed that the Leafs’ coaches separated Toskala and Gustavsson’s lockers during the year, exposing what everyone already knew - that Toskala was a bad influence. I can just imagine Gustavsson asking for tips on the Penguins’ snipers and Toskala just blowing his cigarette smoke in the Monster’s face.

- Toskala openly bristled about being coached by Francois Allaire. Because when you’re Vesa Toskala you don’t need to listen to anyone who mentored scrubs like Patrick Roy.

- He let in this goal. Unfortunately, this was still during the time I was delusional about the Leafs, so I unfortunately defended his honour. “Look at that puck bouncing! A brick wall couldn’t even stop that.” I also searched for this by typing in 'Vesa Toskala worst goal ever'.

- Toskala was reportedly offered a contract by the Calgary Flames this past off-season to stay on as Mikka Kiprusoff’s back-up, but Toskala convinced himself that he was a number one goalie. So it’s clear that Toskala doesn’t live in our reality.

- He’s out of the league, while Andrew Raycroft is still sticking around as a back-up. Raycroft at least understood his time with the Leafs ruined his career. He recognized the type of goalie he became. Toskala is still wondering why he wasn’t nominated for last year’s Vezina.

- He was also a dick to the media (which is understandable in Toronto where you get the same dumb questions 76 times a day from 324 different reporters).

We’ll put it to the vote. Toskala or Raycroft. It’s a hate-off.

Who do you hate more?


Geoff said...

This is almost too close to call. Neither was personable, both were horrible, I'd like to hear anyone say why they think one is worse than the other. They're just two dicks in a pod.

Bo Jackson said...

Raycroft always looked like he was about to cry when he got shelled, so he clearly cared. Toskala never seemed to care. He was in his own world.

Unknown said...

You hated the Ernest movies AND Hey, Vern!? You must hate the troops as well.

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