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Maple Leafs’ Player Moves for the Kings’ Game: Muzzin, Campbell & Clifford

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a number of player moves for the Los Angeles Kings’ game. Why is this game special for some players?

After not being able to generate any offense and losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 2-0 on Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs started their road trip overwhelming the New York Islanders by a score of 3-0. In that game, 23-year-old rookie goalie Joseph Woll got the second straight win of his nascent NHL career.

Now the Maple Leafs have a rematch against the Los Angeles Kings tonight on the road. During their last game against the Kings, the team was beaten badly. They came out of the gate slowly, gave up a couple of goals, and simply were not able to catch up during the last two periods.

In this post, I’ll share some of the Maple Leafs’ player moves just prior to the Kings’ game on Wednesday night.

Related: Three Maple Leafs’ Quick Hits: Thoughts About Three Key Players

Player Move #1: Jake Muzzin Moves Back to His Old Home – Briefly

Although it wasn’t a player move in the regular sense, both goalie Jack Campbell and defenseman Jake Muzzin moved – for the first time since the pandemic – back to their old stomping grounds in Los Angeles. In an interesting video below, Muzzin reflected on his time in Los Angeles before his first game back. ​​Muzzin was traded from the Kings to the Maple Leafs three years ago. 

Starting goalie Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford also will likely get game action in against the Kings. Likely all three players have mixed emotions returning to the city where they played for so long during their NHL careers. 

Player Move #2: The Maple Leafs Call up Kyle Clifford

Every time Toronto makes moves like this, I can’t help compare it to the way former head coach Mike Babcock once made decisions. I don’t doubt for a minute that recently re-acquired Kyle Clifford (from the St. Louis Blues on November 16 for future considerations – which could mean nothing) will see some game action simply because the game is in Los Angeles. 

Clifford was drafted by the Kings in the second round (35th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and played 10 seasons there. When he came over from the Blues after passing through waivers, he played two games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Look for him to be somewhere in the lineup tonight.

Player Move #3: Joey Anderson Sent Back to the Minors

I know the NHL is a professional league, but it must be frustrating to be moved back and forth between the big club and the minors so often. With Clifford probably drawing into the game tonight and carrying on with the team through this road trip, Anderson was likely to sit. Better that he plays.

Anderson had only been called up on Sunday, so it wasn’t a long stay with the Maple Leafs. He’s scored four goals and added an assist (for five points) in 11 AHL games this season.

Player Move #4: Petr Mrazek Back Skating

Petr Mrazek is rehabbing his groin injury and he’s progressed far enough to be able to practice. He’s skated for the past few days, but yesterday was his first practice since he played on October 30. 

Jack Campbell Petr Mrazek Maple Leafs
Jack Campbell Petr Mrazek Maple Leafs

Mrazek’s prognosis was that’d he miss four weeks, and that four weeks will end next week. If he stays away from another groin tweak, he’ll likely move Joseph Woll down to the Marlies and take his place as Campbell’s backup.

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 2-0 Loss to the Penguins



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