Who's The Man?
There's probably no tougher job in town than coaching the Maple Leafs, if only because several million people within an hour's drive of the ACC - wait, that only gets you to about the 401 these clogged days - believe they know how to do it better than you do.
There may be one exception to that coach-as-toughest-job rule, and that would be playing goal for the Leafs.
|PAUL HUNTER/TORONTO STAR|
|Toskala or Raycroft opening night? A head-scratcher, that one. Hopefully it's not both.|
That the two jobs are inextricably linked - pretty tough to look like a smart coach if your goalie's save percentage doesn't start with the number "9" - is just a reality as much as it is for any coach in any town.
Pat Burns was a genius when Felix Potvin was an all-star. Pat Quinn looked great in the regular season, but not so great in the post-season when neither Curtis Joseph nor Ed Belfour, it's fair to say, played their very best hockey in Toronto uniforms.
So when Paul Maurice picks a goalie to start the season opener on Wednesday against powerful Ottawa, he's exposing his own job performance to intense scrutiny.
Andrew Raycroft or Vesa Toskala? Toskala or Raycroft?
You sure can't say Toskala has come out and won the job so far,and it appears he's going to have to adjust to playing behind a Toronto defence that isn't a disciplined or talented as that he played behind in San Jose.
If Raycroft delivers a strong effort against Detroit tonight perhaps he gets the nod for opening night. Or maybe Toskala gets the home start, and Raycroft, with some success on the road last season, gets the start in Ottawa the next night.
But if there's no indication on the final weekend that Toskala is primed and ready to go, it has to be Raycroft, right?
And doesn't that represent a bit of a step backwards for a team after a big summer trade was supposed to addressed a shortfall in goal?
This is going to be a hot potato for Maurice all season.
Would he be better off to designate one as the starter or let the two compete for the job?
All those locals who are pretty certain they could do a better job coaching the team are sure to have an opinion.