Thu, 02 Dec 2021

Familiar face awaits Maple Leafs at Carolina

Field Level Media
25 Oct 2021, 04:19 GMT+10

When the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Carolina Hurricanes, it's hard to look beyond the goalie situations for both teams.

The Hurricanes are off to a historically good start and much of it is due to goalie Frederik Andersen.

There's a good chance that Andersen will play his fifth consecutivegame when the Maple Leafs, his former team, visit for Monday night's game in Raleigh, N.C.

"(He seems) calm, cool, collected, looks good in the net and has made big saves look easy," Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal said of Andersen.

Andersen played the past five seasons for the Maple Leafs. He racked up 149 regular-season victories for Toronto during that time.

The Hurricanes are 4-0-0 for the second time in franchise history. Andersen has been in the net for each of those games.

Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour has regularly credited Andersen with providing the foundation for the team's early success. The players are on board with that notion as well.

"There's no better feeling than when you make a big mistake and your goalie bails you out," Staal said. "It's give and take and we're taking a little bit too much from Freddie right now. We'd like to play a little better in front of him and keep those 'Grade A' chances to a minimum."

The Hurricanes are unlikely to face former goalie Petr Mrazek, who was stellar for the team in the 2019-20 season. He has been out of the Toronto lineup because of a groin injury, so he has played only one game with his new team.

Jack Campbell has been the winning goalie for both of the Maple Leafs' triumphs this season.

The Hurricanes haven't been perfect despite their record. Brind'Amour said Andersen has prevented some mistakes -- mostly turnovers -- from exposing potential larger snags.

"We had some hiccups, but, again, Freddie was great," Brind'Amour said.

Carolina has used the same lineup for all four games this season. Tops in points is winger Andrei Svechnikov with four goals and three assists, while Sebastian Aho (three goals, three assists) and Teuvo Teravainen (two goals, four assists) both have six points.

The Hurricanes have nine players who've scored at least one goal.

Toronto has played six games, with eight players registering one or more goals. They've also used three goalies.

The Maple Leafs are winless in two road outings, falling by a combined score of 10-3 in games against Ottawa and Pittsburgh. That includes Saturday's 7-1 setback to the Penguins.

"It's still early in the season. Obviously, it's not what we wanted," Maple Leafs right winger Mitch Marner said, looking ahead the next assignment. "Fresh page. ... We just got to make sure we get ready for Carolina."

The key for the Maple Leafs might be making sure the confidence doesn't plummet. Coach Sheldon Keefe said good stretches were blinded by the lapses as three different times Toronto gave up two goals in spans of less than three minutes in Pittsburgh.

"It's easy to start doubting and questioning things when things aren't going your way," Keefe said.

The Hurricanes are coming off three straight road victories. The matchup with Toronto begins a stretch of four home games in a row.

--Field Level Media

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