The Toronto Maple Leafs got some payback against the Calgary Flames last night, defeating them 2-0 in a convincing win with a lineup that was expected to be the same as in Friday’s game, but instead had a surprise shakeup mere minutes before the puck dropepd, with Wayne Simmonds jumping up to the top line and Zach Hyman moving down to what was nominally the fourth line. We have more coverage in our game recap linked here.
What was more remarkable about the game was the return of Jack Campbell in net, who has been out injured for much of the season, which was likely caused in a game against the Flames in February. He got the shutout last night and his personal revenge, but also ignited a goalie controversy.
It’s been a while since we had one of those, eh? Remember how fun it was when James Reimer would lose two games, therefore becoming The Worst Goalie on Earth, and when Jonathan Bernier would win the next two in a row he would be declared Number One Starter, and then two weeks later the exact opposite would happen and we would clamour for Reimer to come back in the net?
Wasn’t that a fun time for the Maple Leafs and their fans? No. It wasn’t. But, here we are again. Welcome to the newest goalie controversy in the NHL: Jack Campbell vs. Frederik Andersen!
First thing’s first; Andersen is injured, that much we know for sure. He has alluded to this using vague language a few times in the past two weeks, saying thing’s like “I’m not feeling the best right now,” etc. after games, but it’s now more official with the weight of the coach behind it.
Per Sheldon Keefe: Andersen was not available to play tonight due to injury— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 21, 2021
So Campbell starts and he looks good. So good compared to Andersen’s Friday game that they are already saying things on the broadcast like “you have to give him the next few [starts] too, if only to see what you have there.” This is a long and winding road to go down that often leads back to the exact same place you started.
I could go into the details for those who don’t remember the Reimernier era, but, Katya covered it sufficiently enough yesterday in her post on goalies. They are allowed to have bad stretches, and you can’t really do anything about it when they do.
This is the trouble with all the stern dad talk that makes it seem like Andersen took your Studebaker out and smashed it up after drinking beers with the boys from the football team. You can’t ground him. Or send him to military school. There is no second half to the sentence, “Sometimes you have to have that.” There is no “or else.”
We’re stuck with Andersen now, so does this mean we embrace this controversy? Campbell’s win last night was only his fourth start of the season—that’s four games out of thirty-two played by the Leafs—but, sure, Andersen is injured, so put Jack in net for a while, but don’t start pushing the pendulum in the “start Freddie” direction and throw Jack under the bus when he inevitably loses a few. Everyone should cool their jets before I have to start shipping them in response to some really bad reporter claiming Jack and Freddie hate each other or something. The Reimernier days were not actually fun.
The Leafs themselves have another four day break. their next game is Thursday against the Senators in Ottawa. We’ll probably learn more about Andersen’s injury in the interim.
There was a fun optical illusion last night where Gabriel Landeskog punched a puck into the net, which is not allowed, but then did he actually punch that puck, or does it only look like he did?
And the Philadelphia Flyers have just given up.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Philadelphia Flyers pic.twitter.com/9CmgwzVyIo— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) March 21, 2021
The Carolina Hurricanes lost in a shootout last night, but before that happened Dougie Hamilton scored a overtime goal which would have been the game winner, but it was called back and so we missed out on this celly. Did he learn this one from Jake Gardiner?
The game-winning celly that was and then wasn't ☹️ pic.twitter.com/dT7H0nQdFz— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) March 21, 2021
You already knew Zach Kassian was a goon, but more evidence is always better.
kassian with the late hit from behind on nik ehlers, no call on the play pic.twitter.com/M5bAWybkBk— Justin Laniuk - BLM (@Justin_L_99) March 21, 2021
AHL coach Joel Ward opening doors for next generation of Black hockey fans - Yahoo Sports
Besides playing a key role on the AHL's best team, Joel Ward is also a leader in the push for more representation across the game of hockey.
Oskar Sundqvist out injured until next season - St. Louis Game Time
A torn ACL will require immediate surgery and keep him out for months. This is a big blow for the Blues’ bottom six.
What the new name of Danville’s baseball team says about the city - Roanoke.com
[SPECIES: This baseball news is in here only because they called the team the Otterbots, and, yes, they are robotic space otters. Check out the logo inside.]
Do you embrace the goalie controversy? Who should start the first playoff game for the Leafs?
|Not this again.||79|
|There is no controversy. Campbell starts that game!||252|
|There is no controversy. Andersen starts that game!||58|