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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Raycroft Marginalised in Boston?

I was watching a TSN sports show and they talked about the Raycroft/Rask deal. They said that it was a 50/50 % chance of a success because Raycroft won the Calder and because he was marginalised in Boston. So, basically, those guys said that Raycroft problems was related to the organization. Easy, too easy. Here's 3 reasons why I strongly disagree with that "conspiracy" theory.

- Call me Mr. Holdout: One year hiatus, the new NHL is under way but you have no contract. Of course, you won the Calder and try to cash this award, which is ok, and you ask 2.5 per. The team said no and the negociation is tougher then expected. Then, you decide to follow your agent's silly advice and run into a holdout. One year without any hockey and the shape who come with it and you decide to start later then the others. Good job ! Of course, all the entire roster was out of shape but still, it was a bad and stupid decision. I undertsand that it's always frustrating to see your team refuse to acknowledge your trophy (I think the B's offered him a 1.35 per while he made in 2004 550,000) That said, the attitude of Raycroft changed and he had a shaky motivation at the beginning of the season.

- Out of shape: Of course, getting late on the gym and on the ice will not help you after a year without hockey. Raycroft was clearly out of shape. Slow to get on his pads, slow to get in his basic position; slow from right to left and left to right. He was slow. When you hold a key position like goaltending, you have to be in a very good shape. All premium goaltenders have fitness programs to help them. Brodeur and Luongo are an example of this. Raycroft was too worried about his contract and not enough worried about his shape.

- Lackluster performances: Raycroft like Toivonnen didn't have any defense in front of him last year. Still, he allowed too many soft goals who were related to his slowlyness between the pipes. I think Raycroft won, if my memory serves, 2 out of 14. So, what the coach should do? Leave Raycroft there and let him sunk. Of course, not. He decide to go with Thomas and we know the rest of the story. The only mistake was to not let play Raycroft at the end of last year when everything was set and done.

Don't get me wrong here. I didn't want to start a "let's bash Raycroft =" trend here. Raycroft is a good goaltender and he will rebound in Toronto. So far, his game is starting to get to together and the Leafs got a legitimate #1 in their hand. My point is to say that, in the case of Raycroft, the team could not be responsible (can be held for the poor roster for sure) for his bad season last year. Raycroft didn't do his homework and that's the main reason why everything fall apart. He received bad advices from his agent and his attitude wasn't the best. Sure, Jacobs is a @#$$# and a @#%?&?%$ and probably a $%?&?%$. But, this time, the team cannot be help responsible for that mess.


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