Next up is Vesa Toskala, who is a prime example of the The Toronto Maple Leafs’ post-lockout problems. He’s a player they traded for, in an attempt to place a band-aid over a bullet wound and sneak into the playoffs.
The team traded a first and second-round pick for Toskala prior to the 2007 season which the San Jose Sharks flipped to draft Logan Couture. As a result, the Leafs missed out on the chance to draft players such as Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban, who would have been available to the team had they kept their pick.
Toskala was believed to be one of the top backup goalies in the league while in San Jose, routinely putting up impressive numbers while backing up Evgeni Nabokov. He was unable to translate this success to a starting position with Toronto.
The team failed to make the playoffs in either of Toskala’s two full seasons as the Leafs’ starter, and the team shipped him to Calgary after he started the 2009-10 season with a 7-12-3 record. He was out of the league by the end of the year. He completed his tenure in Toronto with a 3.08 GAA over three and a .894save percentage.
When remembering Toskala, most fans will immediately recall the goal he let in against the New York Islanders on March 18, 2008. He somehow managed to allow a 197-foot clearance from Rob Davison to get past him and into the back of the net. Davison only scored three goals over the course of his 219-game NHL career, yet will be remembered throughout history thanks to Toskala.
Toskala started 11 playoff games throughout his career, all coming for the Sharks during the 2005-06 season in which the team lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference semifinals. He actually put up pretty impressive numbers during this run.
However, there is no chance I would trust Toskala as my goalie in a Game 7. His inability to play like a starting goalie when given the chance ruins all his credibility and leaves Andersen still as the leading choice.