Sunday, September 27, 2009

Toskala or Gustavvson?

The last three games of the pre-season are certain to cause at least some people to question whether Vesa Toskala is really a starting goaltender and if he should start the first game of the regular season Oct 1st vs Montreal.

Lets look at some stats:

Sept 25th 2009 Leafs @ Red wings. Leafs win 5-4

Jonas Gustavvson

Played : 20:00 min
Saved : 7 of 7
Goals Allowed :0
Save % :1.0

Vesa Toskala

Played : 45:00 (Overtime)
Saved : 29/33
Goals Allowed : 4
Save % : .878

Sept 26th 2009. Red Wings @ Leafs. Leafs win 2-1

Jonas Gustavvson

Played : 40:00
Saved : 15 of 15
Goals Allowed : 0
Save % : 1.0

Vesa Toskala

Played : 20:00 min
Saved : 6 of 7
Goals Allowed : 1
Save % : .857

Sept 27th 2009 Sabres @ Leafs. Sabres win 7 - 6

Jonas Gustavvson

Did Not Play

Vesa Toskala

Played : 60 min
Saved : 17 of 24
Goals Allowed : 7
Save % : .708


Jonas Gustavvson

Played : 60:00 min
Saved : 22 of 22
Goals Allowed : 0
Save % : 1.0
Goals Against Average: 0

Vesa Toskala

Played : 125:00 min
Saved : 52 of 64
Goals Allowed : 12
Save % : .812
Goals Against Average: 4.0

Now that we have seen the numbers for the final three games of the Pre-Season, it is clear that Gustavvson's are much better. Over those three games Toskala had a Save Percentage of .812 and a GAA of 4.0 These are much better then last year, and if Toskala plays 60 or so games this year and puts up numbers such as these, we can kiss the playoffs goodbye. So Gustavvson should be our starting goalie. After seeing these numbers it seems like an obvious decision right?.

While listening to AM640 after the 7-6 loss tonight, most of the callers would have agreed with this statement, however, Gustavvson has played a total of 3 period vs NHL opponents facing 15 shots and even those teams were not full strength as they were trying out youngsters just like the leafs.

15 shots during the pre-season is not nearly enough to anoint a rookie goalie as starter, nor is two full Pre-Season games enough to lose Toskala the number 1 position. Toskala has had a rough 12 months, and by all accounts has worked extremely hard over the summer getting back into shape and rehabbing his injured groin, and Wilson owes him at least 1 or 2 games to show whether he has what it takes. If he doesnt, there is a 24 year old rookie Swede who would love to take his job.

So basically, We owe Toskala the benefit of the doubt that Pre-Season and Regular Season are two different ballgames, but he has to remember that the chances are limited and if he slips there will be no one there to catch him. I for one cant wait to see Gustavvson play some Regular Season games versus some real NHLers and hopefully we will have two NHL caliber goalies. We just have to give this goalie situation a few games to play itself out, and by November 1st at the latest we will know if we have 1, 2 or zero Bonafide Number 1 goalies.

What do you think? can Toskala redeem himself? is Gustavvson going to be another Pogge? let me know what you think in the comment box below.

and here is our daily video. Today we get to watch Stu Grimson go insane vs the Leafs :


  1. Good read, completely agree.

    Gustavvson as good as he's been, faced a relatively easy period in Detroit, and most of its farm team on Saturday. That's not to take away from his solid play, but he hasn't meritted the #1 position yet.

    Numbers can sometimes tell a different story, and although they are pretty accurate for tonights game, Toskala's performance "in" Detroit certainly didn't appear that bad. He made numerous big saves, and kept the leafs alive despite giving up 4 goals in 2 periods+ot. Who's to say Gustavvson facing Datsyk, Holmstrom, Lindstrom etc... would have maybe faired worst?

    The Job is Toskala's to lose, and we should wait a couple games before making too many premature accusations and assumptions.

    It's still preseason!

  2. thank you for the kind words, and i complete agree with your assessment.

    tell your friends about the site!