TORONTO – Want to scare the bejesus out of any card-carrying member of Leafs Nation?
Here’s a scary exercise: Think about the Toronto Maple Leafs but devoid of Frederik Andersen.
Considering that receiving pulled and ashamed through Toronto’s 7-2 shellacking on Oct. 10 by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the fantastic Dane has settled all the way down, publishing a remarkable 7–2 record.
With Andersen’s effectiveness seizing centre phase in Thursday night’s 2-1 overtime victory over an structured and urgent Vegas Golden Knights group, he has been the spine of the Leafs’ fantastic November (3-), a stabilizing pressure letting an inconsistent, unfamiliar roster to locate its footing and compile its to start with three-recreation successful streak of the period.
Andersen’s conserve percentages considering that the calendar flipped months: .925, .960, .974.
“He’s been obtaining improved just like each and every year. He variety of gets by October and seems to kick it into gear and will get emotion very good,” mentioned head coach Mike Babcock of the only goalie he can rely on. “He’s an vital player for us, a very good leader for us. We will need him to make huge saves.”
That he did, and Andersen acted as mellow as an Ed Sheeran music doing so.
(: @f_andersen30) pic.twitter.com/R9bRX5tdai
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) Oct 31, 2019
Poised kick will save, rapid flashes of the glove, nary a rebound or bobbled puck-cope with.
“It undoubtedly felt like the puck was adhering to me a very little little bit all-around, so it’s a great experience,” stated Andersen, projecting quiet ahead of, throughout and soon after.
On this evening we counted, oh, about 4 enthusiastic rounds of the acquainted “Fred-die! Fred-die! Fred-die!” chants from a dwelling throng specified small else to rally all around as the Knights restricted the Leafs’ makes an attempt to the perimeter and killed five consecutive Toronto ability performs in advance of Auston Matthews finally uncovered twine on the sixth.
We also viewed a grinning Matthews hop the bench and make a bee line to embrace his goalie when John Tavares converted a sharp-angle 2-on-1 OT hurry to ruin poor Malcolm Subban’s initially begin in his hometown.
“By far our best player on the ice tonight,” Matthews claimed. “He just kept us in it with the penalty get rid of clearly at the close of the match.”
Tavares explained Andersen (37 saves) deserved all 3 stars of the match, noting his stopping all 12 Knights arrows on the penalty get rid of, which dipped into extra time because of to what could’ve been a costly as well-numerous-adult males foul.
“Hell of a night time by Fred,” Tavares claimed.
Vegas coach Gerard Gallant opted to give at least just one star to his have netminder.
“The two goalies were the initially stars,” Gallant reported. “Great goaltending.”
Subban warrants credit for his role in securing the Knights a standings stage and definitely can not be faulted for either of the Leafs’ strikes.
“Both goalies are in the identical scenario. You gotta struggle and compete and come across a way to make saves. He did at the other stop, and I came up small,” explained Subban. “It’s tough when you get outplayed by the other goaltender.”
Max Pacioretty, much too, had no preference but tip his cap.
“He’s 1 of the ideal in the league for a reason — the timeliness of the will save,” said Pacioretty, the only just one to fix Andersen Thursday. “Ultimately we have to do a far better job likely getting away his eyes and bearing down on the really fantastic prospects, but you can’t take absent credit score that he’s a really solid goaltender.”
Andersen’s excellence is biding time for Toronto to get its shaky act jointly. The Leafs rank in the base third of the league in these critical classes as giveaways, electric power engage in, penalty eliminate, and photographs allowed.
But superior goaltending masks so a lot. And just talk to the Kings, Devils, Purple Wings or Sharks (the bottom four clubs in preserve proportion) where bad goaltending leaves you.
Of training course, any conversation all around Andersen — the NHL’s saves leader given that he arrived in this metropolis in 2016 — would not be complete without having acknowledging workload.
It is truly worth noting that Vegas gave Marc-Andre-Fleury a evening off Thursday, even though the Knights weren’t in a again-to-back predicament.
In conditions of usage, Fleury is a great similar to Andersen. Due to the fact the commencing of final time, Fleury has made 74 starts off. Andersen has 73.
The variations in this article are that Vegas is creating a aware, community energy to minimize down on driving a single goalie, and the Knights imagine their 25-12 months-outdated backup has what it will take to develop into an NHL starter.
“Fleury plays a large amount of significant online games for us, but this child [Subban] is gonna have to get some of individuals video games,” Gallant reported. “You can not enjoy a man 70-80 game titles a calendar year, so we have all the self-confidence in the world in Malcolm. We believe we bought the very best goalie in the league in Fleury, and then Malcolm is likely to get some more games than he bought in the previous.
“If you’re likely to go wherever in the NHL, you have to have two great goaltenders — and we believe that we do.”