It wasn’t long ago we covered a report that goaltender Frederik Andersen might have 30 games to “turn it around” for the Toronto Maple Leafs and prove he’s a viable starter worth investing in for the long term. After two games for the Maple Leafs in 2020-21, there are already questions about his play and certainly whether or not he gets to the 30-game mark to prove his worth. If he does, it will be shocking.
After two shaky performances — one against the Montreal Canadiens and another against the Ottawa Senators — some insiders are split on what this means for Andersen moving forward. Some, like Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, think it’s too early to panic. Andersen has a history of slow starts and nine goals in two games isn’t ideal, but it’s not time to set off alarm bells just yet.
Johnston notes that panic is a resting state in Toronto and that if this trend continues over the next couple of weeks, everyone will have a right to freak out a little. For now, it’s best not to overthink things.
So How Long Does Andersen Get?
At this point, the 30-game mark that Travis Yost of TSN mentioned before the season began should now be viewed as benchmark for evaluating a yes or no on a new contract. If Andersen doesn’t improve his numbers in those 30 games, it’s almost a guarantee he won’t be offered an extension from the Maple Leafs and the team will go in another direction this offseason. 30 games will be enough time to know for sure that Andersen is not the guy. From there, the Leafs will have to hope Jack Campbell is.
Either way, this would be bad news for Andersen since this is not the time to hit free agency as a struggling goaltender.
In the end, the organization is hoping these nine goals allowed in two games is simply a blip on the radar and that Andersen rounds into form. Some in Leafs Nation will bark that it’s way too early to write Andersen. We agree. But, it’s key to remember that this season is short and every game in the division is essentially a four-point game.
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