Mar 9, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT
No, he cannot.
Oh wait, that’s kind of mean. Let me start this again.
After going 49-17-5 in his last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Vesa Toskala received a healthy contract and a chance to be the unquestioned No. 1 goalie with the Toronto Maple Leafs. As you are probably aware, the last three seasons haven’t really gone that well for the Finnish netminder. At all. Seriously, the guy posted a 87% save percentage in Toronto this season and only (barely) hit the decidedly average 90 mark once with the Leafs. (Yikes)
Honestly, at some point I went from looking at Toskala as an average goaltender to viewing him as an expiring contract with arms, legs and a look of bottomless sadness in his eyes. Yet, there was always one hanging excuse for Toskala apologists (if they still existed): he was playing for the Maple Leafs.
Chances are, Toskala won’t get a whole lot of opportunities to prove himself with the Calgary Flames. Since leading the team to a Cinderella run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Miikka Kiprusoff has averaged a staggering 75 games played per season.
Dare I say it, though: Toskala might be the most competent backup the Flames have had in a long time. He’s at least had one good game so far, making 27 saves in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. One game isn’t an indication that he can save his career, but it would be quite the feel-good story if he could stick around the league next season.
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