Toronto Maple Leafs: Recent Slump Shows Leafs Have What It Takes

Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs were 1-6 in their last 7 games, prior to last night’s game, with the lone victory coming in overtime against the Jets.  From the outside looking in, that’s a pretty bad  slump, and little bit of panic is setting in with the fan base.

In reality, the slump shows that the Toronto Maple Leafs might actually have what it takes to win. 

Since returning to the lineup on March 3rd, Freddie Andersen is 2-5-0, with a 3.42 GAA and .876 save percentage.  All indications are that the great Dane is playing through a nagging injury of some kind, and he’s just not moving as well as he should be.

He’s had trouble fighting through screens and has been going down earlier than necessary, and it has resulted in an inordinate number of goals from screens and deflections.  These types of goals in particular, have absolutely sunk the penalty kill.

The red button is right there, the panic button, and you could push it if you want to, but I suggest taking a deeper look at the team during this time before you do.  You may find that the red button is not needed at all.  You may find that the team actually looks really good.  The Leafs just need a few more saves, and the saves are probably coming.

Toronto Maple Leafs Playing Well

Check out this table illustrating key stats for the Toronto Maple Leafs from the last 7 games (all stats via

Outcome     CF%     Shot Chart Adv          SV%

1-3 L            54.6          LEAFS                    .893

2-4 L            56.6          LEAFS                    .871

3-4 L            62.7          LEAFS                    .826

4-3 W          63.5          LEAFS                    .889

2-5 L            45.0          JETS                        .844

3-4 L            55.0          LEAFS                    .871

3-4 L            66.0          LEAFS                    .778

When I say Shot Chart Adv, I mean the team that dominated slot chances via shot charts, and as you can see, the Toronto Maple Leafs not only controlled play but they also controlled dangerous chances in close.  There is no way the team should have gone 1-6 during this stretch.  They have actually played extremely well.  This is a team that just hasn’t gotten enough saves.

In fact, going through this stretch of games has arguably made this team better.  They are playing like they don’t have a goalie.  So, I ask you, how good will they be when they get a goalie?

When will Andersen get healthy?  I don’t think anybody knows, and if they did, they wouldn’t reveal that information anyway.  The Leafs are ailing right now and they are in dire need of a healthy dose of Jack Campbell.  Not only has Campbell played well in limited action, but the Leafs desperately need him to string together a few quality starts just to get Andersen some rest.

As I took a break from writing this, Jack Campbell, aka “Soupy”, held the fort as the Leafs beat the Flames 2-0 last night.  It was the Leafs first regulation win in 8 games.

Just as a side bar, what a great post game interview.  Jack Campbell really is one of the most genuinely good guys I have ever seen in sports.

If I put last night into the above table, the trend is the same, only this time the team got some saves.  The Leafs had the majority of shots and chances, and they won the slot battle…again.  Campbell didn’t need to be great, he just needed to be solid, and that’s all the Leafs really need.

I’m not against Andersen being the starter on this team (when he’s healthy).  I’m not against Andersen being the guy that leads us on a playoff run (when he’s healthy).  I am, however, all-in on Campbell leading this team right now.

Next. 5 Prospects Most Likely to Get Traded. dark

My open letter to Sheldon Keefe,

Andersen is injured.  Let him heal.

Play.  Jack.  Campbell.