If you were to use social media as your metric for judging which goalie should be the Maple Leafs starter moving forward there would be no question about which way the wind is blowing.
Following another stellar performance from 29 year old netminder Jack Campbell on Saturday night Maple Leafs twitter exploded with praise for him. On the other side of that coin however was harsh criticism of long time Leafs netminder Frederik Andersen, a netminder that the Leafs fan base appears to be quickly turning on following a shaky season between the pipes.
Of course fans on social media don't get to make the call but there's no question now that head coach Sheldon Keefe has a goaltending controversy on his hands. If Campbell does not get more regular starts I suspect the fan base will riot, figuratively not literally, and you can hardly blame them given the way Campbell, who is supposed to be the backup, has performed this season.
Although he has been limited in his starts due to injury Campbell now has a ridiculous 1.00 goals against average and .965 save percentage over his 4 games with the Leafs this season. On top of that his shutout over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night put an end to the ugly 3 game losing skid the team came into the game with, and perhaps even put an end to their 1-6 slump over their last 7 games.
That is a stark contrast when compared to Andersen's numbers this season, a pedestrian 2.91 goals against average and a .897 save percentage over 23 games played. Although there may be more than meets the eye when it comes to Andersen's shaky performances as of late.
The decision regarding who will start later this week may not be in the hands of Sheldon Keefe, something the coach himself admitted following the game when he revealed that Andersen has been dealing with an injury. Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday night that the reason Michael Hutchinson, the team's 3rd string goaltender, had been put in as the backup was due to Andersen being unavailable due to injury. That injury is believed to be a lower body injury.
If you were expecting the news to temper the opinions of the Leafs fan base however you would be wrong. It was clear following the announcement from Friedman that they are ready to see more of Campbell and less of Andersen, here are just a few examples we can share with you.
As I said the wind is certainly blowing in one direction as far as the fan base is concerned, the only question now is whether or not the coaching staff is of the same mind.
Photo Credit: Maple Leafs/Twitter