Everybody loves to get on Toskala's case and pin all our worries on him. Indeed, I have partaken of this myself. But I got to wondering if we were being truly fair to him, so I went and looked at the record, and I think he comes out largely exonerated. In his entire NHL career with the Leafs, that I can tell, he only let in two goals... when he wasn't being shot at. In fact, in over 98% of the time he was on the ice there was nary a single puck in his net.
I mean, sure, you can focus in on collating the couple of a dozen fractions of a second in any given game in which people were actively trying to shoot a puck past him, less than a minute or two a night, I think you'll find, and observe in that short span a veritable mountain of vulcanized rubber sitting in neat stacks behind him, quietly nestled in string. But the young men who shot those pucks had clearly put in years of effort and training, and other Finnish goaltenders had been doing far too much to thwart their burgeoning aspirations, and scoring goals is all most of them really want in life. So our Vesa put his thumb on the scales of justice and made journeymen grinders feel like a superstar for a night. Really, you can't put a price on such joy, so a mere four million dollars a year has to be considered a bargain.
The rest of the time, though, when the players were just passing and skating and stick handling, and dumping pucks in... Vesa was solid. Like a rock. Only let the puck in twice. So I salute you Mr. V. D. S. Toskala,: the very model of compassion, mercy, and intermittent bouts of semi-competence, you poor and misunderstood man, you.