The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Thursday that goaltender Jack Campbell will miss two weeks with a rib injury.
In response, the Toronto Maple Leafs have have called up Erik Kallgren from the Toronto Marlies.
News like this is not what the team wants to hear during such an important time of the season.
However, this could be a blessing in disguise. Campbell has not looked comfortable in the net for a while now.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Jack Campbell Injury
Campbell has played in 40 games this season and has a 24-9-4 record.
When you compare his first 20 games of the season to his last 20 games, there is a big difference. During his first 20 games, Campbell only allowed four or more goals twice. In his last 20 games, he has allowed four or more goals 11 times.
He has allowed 23 goals against in his last five games. Many reporters and fans alike thought maybe Campbell was struggling mentally. Campbell has mentioned in the past that he is sometimes too hard on himself. Although the mental part of the game might still be a factor, this rib injury could be the deciding factor.
Toronto Maple Leafs Relying on Petr Mrazek
Petr Mrazek will be Toronto’s number one guy until Campbell returns. He has a 10-5-0 record in 15 games this season. More importantly, Mrazek is 4-1-0 in his last five games. He will need to keep that pace going to make losing Campbell less painful.
For the time being, Mrazek will have Erik Kallgren as his backup goaltender, but that might change throughout Campbell’s absence. The Toronto Maple Leafs might want to give Kallgren and Joseph Woll some time at the NHL level over the next two weeks.
Toronto has six games between now and March 24th, which would be the two-week mark for Campbell’s injury. If that is all the time he needs, then he should be back in time to help Mrazek with the Maple Leafs next set of back-to-back games on March 26th and 27th.
Mrazek will get the start Thursday night against the Arizona Coyotes and on Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres in the Heritage Classic. This is Mrazek’s time to shine, so hopefully, he will make the most of it.
It sucks to have Jack Campbell miss two weeks during such an important part of the season. Hopefully, he will return healthy and get back to playing as he did in the first half of the season. Having Campbell healthy and playing at his best is exactly what the Maple Leafs want heading into the playoffs.