Pogge Flops in His Second Start With Leafs, Fall 6-1 to Wild

Dino MoriAnalyst IJanuary 28, 2009

Not the standup effort Toronto coach Ron Wilson was looking for from Justin Pogge.

Pogge, making his second NHL start, was guilty of going down too early and often, as Toronto fell 6-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

It was a far cry from the 23 year-old rookie netminder's debut back on Dec. 22 in Atlanta, when he stopped 19 shots in a 6-2 Leafs victory over the Thrashers.

In fairness to Pogge, the Maple Leafs were woeful in front of him, giving up six even- strength goals—this to a Wild team that is ranked last in that category in the NHL (62).

Minnesota scored four times in the second period on just 11 shots en route to the win. 

Pierre-Marc Bouchard had a goal and two assists to pace the Wild attack. Marc-Andre Bergeron, Cal Clutterbuck, Andrew Brunette, and former Leaf Owen Nolan also scored for Minnesota.

The lone Toronto marker came from Jason Blake, who notched his team-leading 15th of the season.

If there was a knock on Pogge's performance versus the Wild, then it would have to be his inclination to want to stop pucks from down on his knees.

Should NHL shooters get wind of his Pogge's penchant to want to drop to make a save, they're likely want to go high rather than low on most shots.

No more was this evident than on the opening goal of the game, when Clutterbuck's seemingly harmless wrist shot from the right wing floated past a prone Pogge, who was already down on his pads before the shot was fired.

A goalie of Pogge's stature—he stands at 6'3"—could cover so much more of the net if he just stood up.

Pogge is expected to be sent back to the American Hockey League team, the Marlies, today. It is not known at this time when he'll return to the Leafs for his third big league shot between the pipes.

Toronto is in Colorado on Thursday.