Unlike previous years, the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending situation looked better than most with the NHL trade deadline rapidly approaching in three short weeks. That was before Feb. 3, though, when their starter was forced out of action mid-game.
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced during the first intermission of their 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers that No. 1 netminder Frederik Andersen was being evaluated for an injury and was then ruled out with an upper-body injury. Following the game, head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters that he went through concussion protocol and passed, but was held out as a precaution. Andersen does have a history of concussions.
On Tuesday, NHL.com's Dave McCarthy reported that Campbell will start against the Coyotes but did share a video of Andersen in net blocking shots from coach Steve Briere. Michael Hutchinson will backup Campbell.
— Dave McCarthy (@DaveAMcCarthy) February 11, 2020
Andersen's neck injury prevented him from traveling to New York for Toronto's 5-3 loss to the Rangers. Jack Campbell, who the Leafs just acquired via a trade with Los Angeles, started both games of Toronto's back-to-back on Friday and Saturday.
Keefe said it’s tough to offer timeline on Andersen because of nature of the injury. But he’s getting through drills and Steve Briere is pushing him and he’s responding well and that’s all positive.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 7, 2020
Late in the first period on Monday, the Panthers' Frank Vatrano charged towards the net with Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin on him. Vatrano was knocked down and collided with the 2020 All-Star goaltender, taking him and the net out. Andersen was slow to get up but stayed in for the remaining one minute and 36 seconds of the period. Backup Michael Hutchinson came in at the start of the second period.
Collision with Freddie Andersen. Not good but Muzzin nudged it along pic.twitter.com/DZmeDQ3uAY
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 4, 2020
Toronto wasn't sure if the injury happened on that particular play or on earlier plays, as TSN's Kristen Shilton noticed, he got bumped twice in the period before the Vatrano collision.
Entering the Leafs' 53rd game of the season, Andersen had accumulated an impressive 24-9-6 record in 41 starts with a .910 save percentage. He made seven saves on eight shots against the Panthers before leaving.