Toronto Maple Leafs: Frederik Andersen Will Finally Play In An All-Star Game

EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 14: Auston Matthews #34 and Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate after winning the game against the Edmonton Oilerson December 14, 2019, at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 14: Auston Matthews #34 and Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate after winning the game against the Edmonton Oilerson December 14, 2019, at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Two members of the Toronto Maple Leafs have been named to participate in the 2020 NHL All-Star Game

The 2020 NHL All-Star Game rosters were named yesterday, and it was announced via Twitter that Auston Matthews and Frederik Andersen will represent the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Atlantic Division in St. Louis on January 25th.

For Matthews, this will be his fourth consecutive season in his phenomenal career participating in the All-Star festivities.

Frederik Andersen will make his long overdue All-Star Game debut next month.

Why did it take this long?

This season, the goalies in the Atlantic division have allowed a combined 1,021 goals, which is the most allowed of all four divisions in the league.

While there are a lot of aspects that go into goals against, the depth chart for skilled goaltenders in the Atlantic is arguably the worst in the league. Unfortunately, of all of his great seasons, this is the year that Frederik Andersen is recognized as an NHL All-Star.

Despite these numbers, Andersen has continued to live up to the nickname ‘Steady Freddy’, and has been the Leafs MVP for quite some time.

Coming into this season, Andersen had a 107-53-30 record throughout his first three years in Toronto with a .917 save percentage, and was in net for 244 of the Leafs 300 points earned in those three seasons, good enough for 80%.

There is no doubt how important Andersen has been to his team, and the statistics he has produced for the past couple of years have been All-Star caliber, so why is this his first appearance?

One major reason is that there is no reason to put Carey Price in the All-Star game this year.

Sending Carey Price to San Jose for the 2019 events over Andersen was criminal, as Andersen posted a 22-13-3 record with a 2.67 goals against average and .922 save percentage at this point last year, to Price’s 13-14-4 record with a .908 save percentage and a 2.95 goals against average.

There is no doubt that Carey Price is arguably one of the best goaltenders of the past decade, but this is one of the many examples that shows how the NHL has the tendency to pick players who are not necessarily All-Star caliber, and are just big names.

This has lead to the decline in importance of the All-Star Game among fans and players, as star players such as Alexander Ovechkin have even boycotted the games completely in order to rest for the regular season ahead, and the NHL is the only one to blame for it.

As for his recent performances this season, in a pivotal month of November for the Leafs, Andersen went 7-3-1 and had a .940 save percentage with a 2.00 goals against average through 11 games.

To nobody’s surprise, Frederik Andersen has played a key role in the resurgence of the Toronto Maple Leafs success as they compete for the top spot in the Atlantic division.

I think I speak for all Toronto Maple Leafs fans when I say that Freddy is the most deserving player on this team to participate in the All-Star game.

While the All-Star events may have lost significance over the years, and some fans believe it would be in Andersen’s best interest to benefit from the time off due to his heavy regular season workload, I think that this is an important achievement for Andersen’s legacy and he has earned the right to enjoy every minute of it.

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As a goaltender who is consistently excluded from Vezina Trophy candidacy, and someone who is one of the most valuable players to their team league-wide, I couldn’t think of a better player than Frederik Andersen to represent the Toronto Maple Leafs in next month’s events.