Toronto Maple Leafs: Mrazek Injury Gives Campbell Huge Opportunity

There are now more injury concerns for the Toronto Maple Leafs after Petr Mrazek couldn’t finish last night’s game.

When the Toronto Maple Leafs finished the second period against the Ottawa Senators last night, Mrazek took a shot on net and seemed to pull something. At first glance, it didn’t seem like much, but when the third period began with Jack Campbell in net, we all realized it was worse than we thought.

The biggest question regarding Mrazek this season was his health. Mrazek has had injury concerns in the past, most recently as last year, when he only appeared in 12 games.

We all expected Jack Campbell to play in more games than Mrazek this year, but his projected number may increase, depending on how long Mrazek is out for.

There hasn’t been a report as to how much time he’ll miss, if any, but groin injuries are incredibly nagging for goaltenders. Their flexibility is so important, so if he has any discomfort in that area, he’ll cost the team tremendously if he does in fact try to play through it.

It’s Time for Jack Campbell To Run With the Net

He’s only played 80 minutes this season, but within that timeframe, Campbell has been brilliant.

Campbell’s taken a long-road to get back to where scouts projected him to be in 2010. The former 11th overall draft has bounced around the AHL, has been a back-up in the NHL, but has still yet to be a true number-one goalie in this league.

Despite having a 17-3-2 record with a .921 SV% and 2.15 GAA last year (stats: hockeydb.com), the Leafs signed Mrazek for insurance purposes. Campbell has had injury concerns himself so the team didn’t fully trust him this year, or they wouldn’t have signed Mrazek.

Although we don’t know how long Mrazek will be out, Campbell needs to take this opportunity and run with the net.

From watching countless interviews and documentaries around the Leafs, the roster clearly loves him and wants to perform for him. They trust him in net, as they should, because he’s a warrior and always keeps his team in it.

Even during last night’s game, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Campbell allowed two or three goals in the third, since he came in cold. Instead, he didn’t allow a goal and gave his team a chance to battle back and try to win the game. Toronto ultimately lost 3-2, but Campbell had nothing to do with that loss.

This is a huge season for Campbell and is clearly the biggest of his career. He’s never had a chance to be a number-one goalie and he’s entering UFA status. With a huge season, he has a chance to walk himself into a monster contract and an opportunity to be a number-one netminder for the next decade.

It’s never good to see Mrazek go down but this will now test Campbell’s will and show the fanbase and management if he deserves to be a true number-one netminder.