Friday, October 9, 2009

Monster Down

I'm sure you've all heard yesterday that The Monster has been put on the IR with a strained groin and is expected to miss at least week of action. In the meantime, The Leafs have called up Joey MacDonald from the Marlies to back up Vesa Toskala.

Calm down...back away from the ledge slowly. Yes, with four games this week before a whole week off, we cannot afford to start the season 0-6-1 but just because Toskala and Joey Mac will be in net doesn't make it impossible to pick up some points. Here's hoping that Toskala used his time off to absorb what Francois Allaire has been teaching him. An early indication of this will be how deep Toskala is playing in his crease. As a butterfly coach, Allaire would generally want his goalies to come out so that when you get down, you cover as much net as possible. One of Toskala's main problems this year is that he has been playing way too deep. This shows a lack of confidence and relies on his reaction rather than positioning. If we see Toskala out on the white ice often, there's a chance we will see a victory.

Another one of Toskala's big weaknesses is his rebound control. When Toskala makes the initial save, there's usually a big, juicy rebound right on the doorstep. Phil Esposito, Dave Andreychuk, Cam Neely...some of the most prolific scorers have made a living off of these goals. Plain and simple, in order to get the W, Toskala needs to work on kicking those rebounds out into the corners.

Now I don't know what I would consider a successful stand without The Monster. I guess I'll be happy with at least four out of a possible eight points? I just hope both goalies don't end up shitting the bed. Now I know there's really no reason for any of us to have faith in Toskala but I simply can't think of a more appropriate time to say this.


...But just in case he doesn't live up to our hopes, here's a little drinking game for us so that we can forget all about it.

1 Shot
-Every goal Toskala gives up
-An additional shot if the goal was up high
-Every time Greg Millen comments on Toskala playing too deep in his crease
-Every time they cut away to The Monster or Joey Mac

2 Shots
-Every goalie change
-If two goals are scored within 2 minutes
-If a goal is scored off a rebound
-If Toskala bites on the first move on a breakaway

3 Shots
-If Toskala lets one in that your grandmother could have stopped
-Once the boo-birds start raining
-If the score looks more like a baseball game

Shotgun a Beer
-If Toskala lets in the first shot

Drink til you're blind
-If Toskala lets in a 200 footer