It wasn’t pretty, but the Toronto Maple Leafs helped Jack Campbell improve to 5-0-0 on the season. With starting goaltender Frederik Andersen out with a lower-body injury, the net belongs to Campbell right now.
Campbell Perfect For Toronto Maple Leafs
When your backup goaltender can go 5-0-0 and only allow six goals on 144 shots, you know you have something special. He is currently riding a 1.18 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage with two shutouts.
Campbell was riding a two-game shutout streak going into the game against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. That streak would end in the first period on Thursday when Connor Brown scored while Ottawa was shorthanded.
Campbell came out of the net to play the puck but misplayed it and the puck found its way into the open ice with the net empty and Brown was there to capitalize. In the third period, Campbell would misplay the puck a second time which led to Alex Formenton scoring and tying the game 2-2.
The Maple Leafs were able to win the game in overtime and help Campbell keep his win/loss record perfect for the season.
Next Test For Campbell And The Maple Leafs
Starting on Saturday night Toronto will host the Edmonton Oilers for the first of two games. Once again, Campbell will get the start in net with Andersen out with a lower-body injury.
The Maple Leafs will be looking to improve to 6-0-0 with Campbell in the net as they try to put more space between the Oilers and themselves in the North Division standings. Toronto is currently leading the North Division with 44 points which puts them only two points ahead of the Oilers.
Wins against Edmonton on Saturday and Monday could be huge for both Campbell and the Leafs. The wins would help the team stay in first place in the North Division and help keep Campbell’s winning record perfect.
The timeline for Andersen’s return from injury is not known at the moment and so Campbell will have to make the most of his opportunity.
Campbell’s Furture With Maple Leafs
It would not be wise for Toronto to re-sign Andersen in the Summer. He is on the last year of a deal that pays him $5 million. He is 31-years-old and will be looking for raise on a multi-year deal. It would be a salary cap mistake to overpay for an aging goaltender who is playing out of his prime.
The team should instead try and go with Campbell as the team’s starting goaltender next season and try to sign a veteran goaltender to be his backup. A big play in all of this is how well he does while Andersen is out and if he can prove to Leafs management and the fans that he deserves to be a full-time starting goaltender in the NHL.
His sample size with Toronto is small, but it is also impressive. Campbell has a record of 8-2-1 in 11 games with just 22 goals-against. Over those 11 games, he has a .935 save percentage and a 1.97 goals-against average with two shutouts.
Would be nice to see Campbell prove to everyone that Toronto can move on from Andersen next season because if the team feels like they need to sign Andersen, they will be in a bigger salary cap crisis.
My Final Thoughts On Jack Campbell
I have enjoyed Campbell’s time with the Maple Leafs. His compete level is top-notch as well as the passion he exhibits on the ice. He seems like such a nice person on top of being a good goaltender.
Watching how the Maple Leafs players play when he is in the net compared to when any other goaltender such as Andersen or Michael Hutchinson is in the net, you can see a difference in attitude.
Whether it’s a stick tap or a wink, Campbell is always thanking his teammates or reassuring them that he’s got their back and so far he has proven just that. Let’s hope it continues Saturday night against Edmonton.
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