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Crazy 2020-21 NHL Schedule Means One Maple Leaf Must Play Key Role

Certain players are going to have to take on more responsibility. In Toronto, that player is backup goaltender Jack Campbell.

The way the 2020-21 NHL schedule was put together for this season, especially with the amount of back-to-back games teams in the new North Division will be playing, certain players are going to have to take on more responsibility. In Toronto, that player is backup goaltender Jack Campbell.

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NHL insider Elliotte Friedman joined the hosts of Leaf Off with Rusic and Ziggy and discussed the importance of having a strong backup netminder in this condensed 2020-21 NHL season. For the Leafs, who have to hope that Frederik Andersen has a bit more of a consistent regular season that last year, Campbell becomes increasingly important to the Maple Leafs overall success over the course of 56 games.

The Leafs have 10 back-to-back games this season. Friedman was asked how crucial Campbell would be to the Leafs success and he responded, “It’s going to be huge.” He added:

“Now, there’s some of them they ended up getting spread out a bit. It’s going to be interesting. The one I think is most fascinating if the schedule holds is three games with Edmonton, in Edmonton over five days.”

He said those games should be awesome with Connor McDavid matched up against Auston Matthews for so many games in a row. “But, they’re every other day,” he said. He said the Maple Leafs could play Andersen all three games if they wanted, but he doesn’t believe that’s the right course of action.

The Third Goalie Becomes Important Too

He added that not only will the backup become key, but so will the third goalie — the Leafs have Aaron Dell. This is player who has NHL experience and Friedman called that really important. He added, “I think this year, you’re gonna need three guys.”

He mentioned that injuries will play a factor with so little rest and that teams will need three guys available, three guys who can play and he says, on paper, the Leafs look pretty good at that spot.

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