What will the Toronto Maple Leafs do with their goaltenders?
The Leafs have multiple options in net but all come with their own set of concerns. At various points this season, the team has looked completely set in goal, while at other times it has appeared to be a tire fire.
Frederik Andersen started the season in the crease a little slowly but was playing some of his best hockey as a Maple Leaf ripping off a 7-0-1 run from Jan. 22nd to Feb. 10th.
Andersen’s record for the season is 13-8-2 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. The Dane allowed 22 goals in six starts before winding up on injured reserve on March 19th.
The 31-year-old returned to the ice to practice with teammates on Monday providing a boost of energy to the team according to Keefe.
"“The guys were really excited to have him out there today,” said Keefe, to reporters. “I think everybody wanted to make sure they got a shot on him before they left the ice. That was cool to see…It is really big to have him out there. He has been making a lot of great steps.”"
Also in the mix is Jack Campbell who set an NHL record by winning his first 11 appearances to start the campaign. Since the torrid start, Campbell has looked much more like the goalie he has been throughout his career.
The former first-round pick has had an underwhelming career in Dallas and Los Angeles as a primarily backup option.
The Michigan native has dropped three straight games following the impressive start and now sits with a .919 save percentage and 2.24 goals-against average.
The trouble for the Leafs is trying to decide if Campbell is more like the saviour he appeared to be for those eleven starts or the player he has been for most of his career.
General Manager Kyle Dubas was so unsure of the goaltending situation that he traded a third-round pick to the Calgary Flames for David Rittich.
The netminder has appeared in two games for Toronto since being acquired, stopping 41 of 45 shots faced. If Andersen returns it would appear Rittich will be the odd man out.
Should things really take a really bad turn, the Leafs also have Michael Hutchinson as a fourth option. The former third-round pick has started eight games this season posting .919 save percentage and 2.42 goals-against average.
Even if all four goalies are healthy Keefe has some tough decisions to make. Does he simply ride the hot hand? Does he go back to Andersen who has been with the team for this whole era?