On Thursday, March 31st, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that goaltender Jack Campbell is medically cleared to play. He sat out Thursday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
Campbell took part in a full practice on Friday, and once practice was over, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe announced that Campbell is getting the start on tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers are currently the 27th place team in the NHL at the time of this writing. It should be a good warm-up game for Campbell, especially with back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday.
Depending on how Campbell plays on Saturday, Keefe will need to decide if he wants Campbell to play against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday or the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. Tampa is a team that Toronto is currently battling with for 2nd place in the Atlantic Division. Florida is the Atlantic Division leader and the team that Toronto would like to try and catch.
Those two games will be crucial as Toronto is set to play both Tampa and Florida again near the end of the month. The standings race within the Atlantic Division should be an entertaining one to watch with just 15 to 16 games left for teams to play.
Toronto Maple Leafs Hope Campbell Returns to Early Season Form
If Campbell can come back fully healthy on Saturday and returns to his early-season form, then Toronto is in a good place. In the first 20 games of the season that Campbell appeared in, he compiled a record of 13-4-2 with one no-decision as the loss went to Petr Mrazek.
The Toronto Maple Leafs only have 15 games left in the season. A winning run such as the one Campbell had at the start of the season would be huge. Toronto will have nine games against non-playoff teams in April. They will also play five games against teams in their division that are all challenging for playoff positioning.
Toronto is only 15 points shy of setting a new record for regular-season points earned. Their current best is 105 points set in the 2017-18 season. They will be hoping to reach that mark and also surpass it. An ideal record for April should be 11-4-0 or 11-3-1, which would give Toronto either 113 or 114 points on the season.
It is not going to be easy, but if they stay healthy and get some injured players back, they have a chance of having a great finish to their regular season. Finishing the season on a high note should also help their confidence going into the playoffs in May.
It is great to have Jack Campbell healthy and ready to join the team. Hopefully, he will regain his early-season form and help Toronto have a strong finish to the season. Most teams prefer to have a home-ice advantage in the playoffs, so if Toronto wants to finish first or second in their division, they need to play well in April.