This morning, on the day of game two of a back-to-back weekend, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that starting goalie Frederik Andersen has an injured groin and will not play in tonight’s game against the New York Islanders.
The @MapleLeafs have recalled goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) December 29, 2018
Frederik Andersen will not be dressed for tonight’s game and is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury. #LeafsForever https://t.co/wa7PzDFZee
Toronto Marlies starting goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo will back up Garret Sparks in net, who will now play the first NHL back-to-back games of his career.
Kaskisuo has played in 11 games for the Marlies this year, and has missed time with a lower body injury of his own. In the 11 games he played, Kaskisuo has a 4.16 goals against average and an .866 save percentage. Last year, playing mainly with the AHL Chicago Wolves, he had a 2.38GAA and .914sv%. This is the first time he’s been called up to the NHL since signing with the Maple Leafs in 2016.
This recall means that, more than likely, the Leafs knew Andersen wasn’t fit to play in last night’s game, and the injury is the reason why he didn’t play game one of the back-to-back for the first time in his Maple Leafs career. The Leafs must have been hoping for a late Christmas miracle to have Andersen in net tonight against a motivated, Tavares-less, Islanders team rather than the tired Garret Sparks.
If the Maple Leafs ever wanted to test the defenders, tonight will be the game to do so. It will also show the Leafs the lack of goaltending depth on their roster. Now it’s just Eamon McAdam as a goalie with an NHL contract, and the Toronto Marlies have no back up at the moment. The Maple Leafs can skate by with recalls and demotions for another week, but if Andersen isn’t ready to go when both the Marlies and Leafs play on January 5th, the Marlies will need to go goalie shopping.
Unless there’s an emergency, don’t expect Kaskisuo to see the ice tonight; but there will be lots of shots of him chewing gum on the bench. Get ready for your close up, Kasimir.