5 New Year’s Resolutions Bound to Benefit Maple Leafs Through 2021

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his third period goal at 16:54 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his third period goal at 16:54 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 07: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

Resolution #2: Andersen Makes the Easy Saves

Just because his teammates failed to manage their defensive duties as effectively as was needed, doesn’t mean Frederik Andersen should be given a free pass. Even if a lack of support makes his role more difficult, he’s still relied upon to perform to the best of his abilities.

There’s simply no way Andersen can confidently say he pulled his weight last season, despite any shortcomings from his colleagues. Following one of his worst statistical seasons throughout his seven years in the league thus far, Toronto needs much more out of Andersen.

Simply stated, Andersen failed to provide what this team required of him. A save percentage of .909 and goals against average of 2.85 just won’t cut it. These numbers are far from where they have to be for Toronto to align with the elite of this league.

To his credit, Andersen clearly entered the 2020 Postseason ready to perform. The 1.84 GAA and .936 SV% he earned in the qualifying round are among his best such stats, to date. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find a way to escape the bad habits that plagued him all year with his inability to secure the simple saves along the way.

After extending the series to a winner take all situation, the Maple Leafs found themselves down 1-0 in the third. Andersen then let in a bad goal by all accounts, which inevitably gave the Columbus Blue Jackets the insurance marker they needed while deflating Toronto’s ability to battle back. He simply has to make that stop, every time.

Resolution: While we’ve seen flashes of greatness out of Andersen over the years, he needs to start treating every shot with the same level of importance. Stopping the pucks that have no place ending up behind him is as obvious a way as any to improve his stat line. Not only will such persistence put his career back on track, but it would also pave a better path for the Maple Leafs.