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Maple Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Feeling Heat In Toronto

With a few changes to the roster, the addition of taxi squads and a contract looming, Maple Leafs Frederik Andersen is feeling the heat.

While discussing the upcoming season for goaltender Frederik Andersen, Luke Fox recently said that the goaltender is about to undertake one of the most important seasons in his NHL career. He called the goaltending situation in Toronto is “critical.” While that may be a bit dramatic, he’s not completely wrong considering Andersen will be playing in a contract year and will have immense pressure to perform.

Related: Maple Leafs Goaltending Better, But in Critical Condition

The Maple Leafs have to make the playoffs. More than that, they need to perform well in the playoffs. While it’s hard to blame their lack of postseason success solely on Andersen, Fox points out that the questions in Toronto as to whether or not the netminding is good enough are warranted. Furthermore, Fox noted that Andersen himself is feeling the heat considering he’s been the second-best goalie in every one of the four playoff series he’s lost as the starter. Andersen has let in some back-breaking goals and in a shortened 56-game season, the Leafs simply can’t afford to stumble.

Related: Maple Leafs Could Trade Asset to Kraken to Protect Player During Expansion

With that in mind, Steve Dangle points out that the Leafs finally have a backup goaltender that the team should be able to rely on. Noting with Michael Hutchinson previously in net, Toronto was forced to go to Andersen anyways. Now, with Jack Campbell a capable backup and gunning to one day be a starter, Andersen has even more pressure to ensure he doesn’t lose his spot in a contract year.

Can Andersen Handle the Pressure?

Fox wonders how Andersen will handle the pressure of figuratively playing with no safety net. Every bad game and a string of bad losses could mean the difference between Andersen being the top goaltending free agent on the market during the 2021 offseason or struggling to find a good deal.

Frederik Andersen Leafs trade
Frederik Andersen Leafs trade

How long will Andersen’s rope be? Remember too, the Leafs now have Aaron Dell as a third-string netminder who will likely be part of the team’s taxi squad for the season. If nothing else, Dell is a quick decision away from getting playing time too.

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