It is a bit ironic that as Andersen is coming off his first career NHL All-Star Game appearance, he is having his worst statistical season with a 2.89 GAA and a .909 save percentage.
In fairness to the Leafs starter, he numbers have taken a dip since he was named an all-star but it doesn’t ease the concern people have with his performance going into the break. As usual, Andersen didn’t start off the season as he would have like to with a .901 sv% and a 3.03 GAA in 10 games but improved on that significantly with a .938 sv% and a 1.97 GAA in November.
Unfortunately, the 30-year-old has struggled to play close to his November form posting a .904 sv% and a 3.03 GAA in December and a brutal .881 sv% and 4.12 GAA in January so far. That simply isn’t going to cut it considering how close the playoff race is in the Eastern Conference.
Do the Leafs make life easier on Andersen? No they do not but they make up for it by scoring their way out of poor defensive performances. Maybe if the Leafs figure out a way to cut down on the dangerous scoring chances they are giving up it could help take some pressure off Andersen.
The problem here is that the Leafs definitely need their rock in net to get back to form because it doesn’t look like help will come easily or cheap but any improvement to his game will go a long way.
It might be a lot to ask of Andersen but its something he has become used to in his time with the Leafs and hopefully “Steady Freddie” has more left in the tank.