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Could Vesa Toskala resurrect his career?

Vesa Toskala, Andrew Raycroft

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala, left, wearing a camouflage jersey in honor the Canadian armed forces, talks with Vancouver Canucks goalie Andrew Raycroft prior to an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


No, he cannot. Oh wait, that’s kind of mean. Let me start this again.

After going 49-17-5 in his last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Vesa Toskala received a healthy contract and a chance to be the unquestioned No. 1 goalie with the Toronto Maple Leafs. As you are probably aware, the last three seasons haven’t really gone that well for the Finnish netminder. At all. Seriously, the guy posted a 87% save percentage in Toronto this season and only (barely) hit the decidedly average 90 mark once with the Leafs. (Yikes)

Honestly, at some point I went from looking at Toskala as an average goaltender to viewing him as an expiring contract with arms, legs and a look of bottomless sadness in his eyes. Yet, there was always one hanging excuse for Toskala apologists (if they still existed): he was playing for the Maple Leafs.

Chances are, Toskala won’t get a whole lot of opportunities to prove himself with the Calgary Flames. Since leading the team to a Cinderella run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Miikka Kiprusoff has averaged a staggering 75 games played per season.

Dare I say it, though: Toskala might be the most competent backup the Flames have had in a long time. He’s at least had one good game so far, making 27 saves in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. One game isn’t an indication that he can save his career, but it would be quite the feel-good story if he could stick around the league next season.