February 26, 2009

Deep Thoughts Vol. 18: Vesa's Back

I don't know what happened to the old, promiscuous Vesa Toskala. Matter of fact, I don't care. He's gone. And hopefully he's not coming back. Vesa's five-hole is no longer open for business, and that's all that matters.

So, a couple of public verbal floggings from Brian Burke and Ron Wilson, and some horrid play from Justin Pogge and his teammates, is all it took to get Toskala back into form? Seriously?

I don't know the answers. Why the hell do you think I'm asking you? But I'm guessing all Toskala needed was some motivation. And God knows Curtis "Old Yeller" Joseph wasn't providing it. Anyway, based on Vesa's recent play (3-0-1, .949 save %), Wilson and Burke look like the smartest guys in show business right now.

I must say, it's great to have the Vesa of old back in the fold. The good Vesa. The Vesa who can stop a few God damn pucks every now and then. He was sublime again last night, stopping 31 of 32 in regulation against the New York Rangers, and all three of their attempts in the shootout.

Yes, you read that correctly. Vesa Toskala stopped all three New York attempts in the shootout. Don't worry, after the game, I went out and bought me one of those scratch-and-win cards. I'll be yelling out "Bingo!" in my cubicle around 11:45 AM.

Toskala's save percentage now comes in at .888. Around these parts, we round up. So, that's 89%, my friends. Andrew Raycroft's checking in at .898. Keep doing what you're doing, Vesa. You're almost there, bro. No matter all the extremely distasteful things I've said about you this season, I still believe in you.

Bye Bye Bell

The forgotten man, Mark Bell, is now a New York Ranger. He hit the re-entry waiver wire yesterday and the Rangers, in their never-ending stupidity (see: Tortorella, John), claimed him. And, to think, I was excited about Bell joining Toronto a season and a half ago. Well done, John Ferguson Jr., well done.

Since he's a now officially a former Maple Leaf, Bell's career is on the upswing. Cue his career rejuvenation, starting...a now.

Kabby Ain't Going Nowhere

Brian Burke wants a first-round pick, a guy who can step in and play right now, and a top prospect for #15. Needless to say, Tomas Kaberle is going to remain a Toronto Maple Leaf past Wednesday's trade deadline, and I couldn't be happier about that.

To all those of you who were excited to see him go, cry me a God damn river.


general borschevsky said...

Nice game last night.

I'm not dissapointed about Bell. If anything, I'm happy for him that he's doin' all the right things and getting another chance, and happy for us that he's out of our system.

Really don't want to see Kabby go. It'd be remarkable though if the Leafs began next season with Kaberle, Kubina, White, Van Ryn, Schenn, Finger, and Frogren all still on the team.

The Vesa was sharp last night. Especially the last glove save in the shoot-out. Looked like a goaltender you can cheer for.

Jaredoflondon said...


mf37 said...

Kaberle needs to fire his agent. His last deal was a huge underpayment and expires just in time for the cap to go down.

Someone needs to crunch the numbers to see if Toskala plays better with more rest. Maybe a platoon system with Pogge and Toskala next year will yield better results.

Can't believe you thought Bell was a good acquisition. I'll have to keep that in mind when I read your trade deadline analysis.

Anonymous said...

How Vesa Got His Groove Back. Thank one Justin Pogge. His play is absolutely sublime lately. Been watching some Champions League lately, hence the "sublime". I'm just happy to see Vesa on top of his game again. We haven't seen this sort of play since the first week of the season. Al though, this also means his trade value could go up. By this time next week we could see Vesa in another jersey.

eyebleaf said...

GENERAL: It was all Vesa last night. And Hagman. That guy is too sick.

I was actually looking forward to seeing Bell destroy Alfredsson one more time. Alas, he'll have to do it in a Rangers uni.

If Kabby stays, I think Kubina will surely go. Although he's played well since Kabby has gone down. Picking up a lot of points on the PP.

"A goaltending you can cheer for." Imagine that.

JARED: I hope you're right, brother. In fact, I pray you're right.

MF: You're right, Kabby does need to fire his agent. His contract might be one of the best in the league, managerial wise.

And, yes, it's true, I thought Bell might be able to recapture his glory days and be a physical 20-goal man on the wing for the Leafs. What can I tell you, I'm an idiot.

I also loved the signing of Blake when it happened.

Definitely keep all this in mind when reading my deadline day analysis.

25TH: Champions League is sick. And, I don't imagine Vesa leaving us at the deadline. No one's taking that contract, not with another year left on it. He'll likely be moved next year at this time.

Anonymous said...

eyebeleaf, you fit the fickle Leaf fan stereotype to a tee. it's shameful.

eyebleaf said...

Anon: Thanks for your kind words, honey. You're wrong, of course, though. I'm a fickle fan in the sense that I'm sick of the sub-par goaltending that the Leafs have been getting since the lockout ended. When the goaltending is bad, I hate. When it's good, I love. Simple.

I like Toskala, and sincerely want him to succeed. What bothers me is that if he played like this all season, the Leafs are a playoff team. So, I'm sure you can understand my frustration.

Now, come here, and let's hug it out.

showcase29 said...

Apparently Burke called up Bell, knowing he would be claimed, so that he could get a shot somewhere else. Classy. This is why players like coming to his teams, and why we will be a contending for the Cup in the spring of 2011. Book it.

woodpeck said...

oh, sooooo close! c'mon Tosk!

W-L-OTL=22-17-10 SV%=.889 GAA=3.27
and one shutout

W-L-OTL=12-9-0 SV%=.897 GAA=3.04
with no shutouts