Tomas Vokoun got the start Saturday night in Toronto and allowed four goals on 18 shots. Maple Leafs goal No. 4 at the 5:29 mark of the second was the end of his night.
“A lot of the times, the goalie gets changed not because of how he’s playing but how the team in front of him is playing,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “He has been solid for us for pretty much most of the year, and [Saturday night] I thought he was good. We just didn’t give him help.”
Two nights after players and coach Bruce Boudreau admitted they hung Michal Neuvirth “out to dry” in the loss in Winnipeg, the same could be said for Vokoun.
Asked about that game Monday, Boudreau reasoned that yanking Vokoun wasn’t about him, explaining why the 35-year-old gets the nod to start against the Phoenix Coyotes.
“I told him, I said, ‘Tomas, it wasn’t you.’ I said I needed to make a change just to see if it would spark anything,” Boudreau said. “That’s why he’s going back in today.”
Vokoun is 8-4-0 with a 2.61 goals-against average and .915 save percentage, even including Saturday night. He had one brutal game in his first start (five goals on 28 shots) and blamed himself for the loss at the New York Islanders, but poor play in front of both goaltenders has been an issue.
Defenseman Karl Alzner said he and his teammates haven’t been helping the goalies out “nearly enough.”
“When we were winning, they were making big saves. But they were making saves that it was like a one-on-one,” Alzner said. “It wasn’t where we were letting backdoor passes and tap-ins go in and such. It’s too bad. A lot of it’s our fault.”