I am sickened by what seems to be an outrage on behalf of Leaf media and fans (and others) at Maurice for starting Andrew Raycroft. It sickens me because it seems to be a media made goalie controversy that if anyone had a clue would realize that Raycroft was the likely starter.
Ever since the trade was made Maurice and JFJ said that Toskala was brought in to help Raycroft and that Raycroft was still the starter. Now, that may have been some posturing and in the long run they expect/hope Toskala will take over the #1 role, but they made it clear that Toskala would have to earn that. Based on Toskala’s preseason starts, he has not yet earned that. He did nothing to pass Raycroft on the depth chart. Had Maurice played Toskala to start the season it would have been the wrong message to send to Toskala, Raycroft and to the rest of the team. It would have been the wrong message to send to Toskala because it would have said “this is your job, the other guy is crap, and all the pressure is on you.” It would have been the wrong message to Raycroft because it would have basically told him “you suck and we have no use for you and this new guy who has shown absolutely nothing has taken your job for good.” It would have been a bad message to the rest of the team because it would have told them that you don’t necessarily have to prove yourself to get a job, you just have to have a more expensive and longer term contract.” None of those are good messages to send so Maurice was 100% correct in playing Raycroft. I suspect it had always been Maurice’s plan to start Raycroft unless Raycroft was horrible in the pre-season and Toskala was very good.
Now, that said, Raycroft was nothing special last year, was nothing special in the pre-season and was nothing special tonight. So, Toskala will definitely get every opportunity to steal the job away from the incumbant Raycroft, but he will not be handed that role if he doesn’t perform. And that is a good thing and that is how it should be.