Friday, January 11, 2008

Leafs to recall Pogge

With the club having all but quit on head coach Paul Maurice after two one-sided losses in California, the Maple Leafs are in full panic mode today.

GM John Ferguson refused to comment last night after the Leafs were hammered 5-2 by the NHL's worst team, the Los Angeles Kings, but it is believed the latest emergency strategy of the free-falling club will be to summon blue-chip goaltending prospect Justin Pogge from the minors as early as today.
Cox goes on to say that Vesa Toskala was likely reinjured in mop-up duty during last night loss to Los Angeles, and that Pogge will likely start in San Jose tomorrow.

Pogge, a former star for Canada at the world junior tournament, has had a strong year in his second season in the AHL, with a 13-3-4 record, 2.27 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.

Cox calls it a "last ditch effort of the Ferguson regime," which is pretty hard to disagree with.

I expect Andrew Raycroft will be waived in the near future, with his next likely destination to be the Marlies. The deal made for him prior to last season never looked worse.

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At 12:04 p.m., January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is sad news about the Leaves.

How is Mats today?
OK I hope.
I haven't seen anything about him in the National media for several hours.

At 12:37 p.m., January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be awesome to see Pogge get his start in the NHL. Even if it is for a bad Leafs team, it would be another good chapter in a remarkable story.

That said, as much as I loved him in Calgary with the Hitmen, my advice for any NHL team facing him is to shoot high, glove side.

At 1:19 p.m., January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'd be cool to see Pogge play against Carey Price. Don't know if it'd happen, but it'd be cool. Or Price against Steve Mason.

Oh yeah, and it's official: the Leafs reek.

At 1:59 p.m., January 11, 2008, Blogger Bruce said...

Toskala being reinjured in mop-up duty has to be the last straw for Andrew Raycroft, if not Paul Maurice and/or JFJ.

It's a sad fact of life for most #2 goalies that they get called into a game to relieve a beleaguered starter when their team is having a bad night, but if the blowout is of his own doing he gets left in there for the duration. No point wasting the starter in a lost cause, esp. when he's just played the night before and esp.esp. if he's coming back from injury. Is there?

But Raycroft was so embarrassingly bad in the first period I'm not sure Maurice had any choice but to get him out of there. A couple of weak ones to say the least capped by just a brutal play where he completely lost his position in relation to the fat rebound he dropped on Dustin Brown's stick. Raycroft was so far from being square to either the shooter or the net that Brown had no trouble popping it home despite a narrow angle. He looked like an amateur on that one.

So surely Raycroft won't be starting again anytime soon. If Toskala's gone too, that leave's Clemmensen and Pogge. JFJ's only remaining hope is that Pogge is a better goalie than Tuukka Rask and starts demonstrating that immediately.

At 2:21 p.m., January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said... advice for any NHL team facing him is to shoot high, glove side.

Isn't that pretty much the book on Raycroft, too? That should make for an easy adjustment for opposing teams.

Of course, lately the book on Raycroft seems to be more just "shoot".

At 5:14 p.m., January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is bad news not only for the Leafs, but bad news for hockey in general.

It's widely recognized that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most important and valuable team in all of hockey. Once the team became a contender in the early 2000's, revenue and ratings for the CBC rose dramatically as a result. If not for the efforts of the team, it is likely there would be much less focus on smaller market teams with a less entrenched, more fickle fanbases, such as the Ottawa Senators or Vancouver Canucks. Those teams would not be experiencing the same degree of success they are today without their interactions with the Leafs.

It is imperative for the Leafs to turn around the ship in a hurry - Canada's teams currently provide nearly 30% of the league's revenue, but if Canada's most popular NHL team is not competitive in the standings, lesser teams in Canada will suffer as a result.

Fan polling, ratings figures, and even polling of NHL free agents has proven decisively that the Leafs are Canada's team, and if they are not managed commensurate to this standing, it is likely that the Ottawas will also begin to suffer financially, since as division rivals, fewer paying customers would be willing to ante up for tickets or tune into the games, and it is likely the Senators and possibly the Oilers would soon be playing again to empty houses - the Oilers have been begging the NHL for two years to return the Leafs to their annual schedule in order to turn a profit at the gates. If the Leafs are not succeeding - the Oilers won't either.

All of Canadian hockey will suffer if the Leafs are not restored to prominence - the fate of NHL popularity in all of Canada depends on it. MLSE owes it to the NHL to install competent management to operate the club or face bankruptcy in NHL cities across Canada.

At 5:50 p.m., January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhm, Anonymous.. The Leafs have been shitty for 40 years and no doubt they're going to stink for another 40. And guess what? The rest of the NHL and especially the other Canadian teams are just fine with it. Toronto fans have got to learn to embrace the suck, because its coming hard and its coming long. God help the next sad sack that has to coach this overpaid pack of snivelling underachievers.

At 6:10 p.m., January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong again, Joe. You should wake up and do a little reading.

Other Canadian teams are on the record saying how important it is the Leafs succeed. Melnyk went public saying he wants the Leafs competitive - because he knows when they are in town, 80% of the building is filled with Leaf fans.

All Western Canadian teams have been trying to add Leaf games to their schedule because it results in an automatic sellout.

Nothing matters more to the success of Canadian franchises, and they know it, and have said so. That's why Hockey Night in Canada shows the Leafs coast-to-coast; because they are Canada's team.

Nice try with your schoolyard name-calling, though.

At 7:29 p.m., January 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the success and failure of the Leafs is irrelevant to the Western Canadian teams. They want more games, sure, but the quality of the team on the ice doesn't matter a whole lot.

As far as guaranteed sellouts go, since the lockout, the Flames, Oilers and Canucks collectively have sold out every game they've played, save one - an Oilers game in 05-06 against the Sharks that was about 200 shy. The guaranteed sellout the Leafs provide isn't really that big a deal either.

At 2:02 a.m., January 12, 2008, Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:32 a.m., January 12, 2008, Blogger Garnet said...

There might be a more obvious reason why clubs want to add the Leafs to their schedule.


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