Jack Campbell Continues Disappointing, Concern Raises in Toronto
It’s easy to say Jack Campbell wasn’t going to be putting up the same great numbers he had at the beginning of the season. When talking about Maple Leaf’s players, you have to realize that any decline will be the number one complaint for Maple Leaf nation. As Jack Campbell continues disappointing fans, the concern rises right before going into All-Star Weekend.
I would argue that the Maple Leafs wouldn’t be where they’re without Campbell in net. He started the season hot and continued to stay hot until just recently. While it seems like any typical slump, Campbell’s margin for error is small, and the numbers he put up aren’t an average decline for a goalie.
The Leafs have had to flip their game plan completely, as the play of Campbell is what kept them winning games through November, posting a .959 save average. A decline in his game began shortly after, where Campbell put a measly .892 up and even dipped to .880 in January.
Monday’s game against the New Jersey Devils has been the biggest concern of fans recently. Campbell sat the bench after allowing three goals on nine shots. Before you could blink, Toronto was down and Campbell didn’t respond well after the first goal.
While these poor numbers are a concern, the Maple Leafs ramp up their schedule to play 11 games in 23 days after the All-Star Game, the weekend getaway might be needed for Campbell as NHL’s All-Star Weekend start’s this Friday. This slump could have come at just the right time, as the Leafs need to keep winning to stay close to the Atlantic leading Florida Panthers.
This is a crucial time for the Toronto Maple Leafs as home ice in the playoffs is one of the main goals for the team. As they sit seven points behind first-place Florida, the task is still within range. Although Jack Campbell doesn’t come back firing on all cylinders in February, home ice seems unreachable.
What to Consider
Jack Campbell is still one of the best goaltenders in the league right now. Campbell has been lights out, and with the caseload, he’s had this season, of course, he might slow down. Campbell has played 32 out of 42 games. If you remember, at the beginning of the season, Campbell wasn’t the undisputed starter for the team. Petr Mrazek signed to challenge Campbell for the starting spot. With Mrazek out with an injury early in the season, Campbell stepped in and played well.
The concern of his time played is because he’s never been in that role. Inexperience and fatigue is probably the more significant factor of the recent slump for Campbell. With Mrazek back, the pressure on Campbell’s shoulders is lifted just a bit. If the Leafs can use the goalie tandem to full potential, Campbell will bounce back and hopefully get them closer to acquiring home ice in the playoff run.
Jack Campbell will have an answer when he comes back from All-Star Weekend. Whether he bounces back or continues to disappoint is the primary concern for Toronto fans. A break from the pressure and Mrazek back in the lineup could be all the Campbell needs to return to his prior form.
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