The Jack Campbell phenomenon is real, and hopefully here to stay. In Friday night’s shootout thriller versus the Winnipeg Jets, Campbell challenged Connor Hellebuyck, last year’s Vezina winner, with his masterful performance in net.
This was one of the few games this season where a Leafs goaltender had been the best player on the ice. But stopping 31 of 32 shots and all three Jets shootout attempts, there was no debate that Jack Campbell was the MVP for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Looking as though they were going to giveaway their standings position to the NHL North Division’s two hottest teams, the Leafs held their ground and built upon their lead. With a four-point difference on the Oiler and Jets, and one less game played, the Toronto Maple Leafs look set to improve their NHL ranking in their two-game stand versus the struggling Calgary Flames.
Favoured at -150, the Toronto Maple Leafs will try to defeat their Western division rival with Michael Hutchinson in net. Catch this late night matchup on SNW and TSN4 at 9PM EST.
Tonight’s game felt like two completely different stories. Minus a rare Morgan Reilly goal in the first two minutes of play, the Toronto Maple Leafs were slow and sluggish through the first two periods. Following the great tip-goal from Nordstrom, the Flames dominated the neutral zone as well as both sides of the puck.
Alex Galchenyuk’s late 2nd period goal might have been the turning point for the Leafs offensively. As the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to string together two more goals in the third.
But Michael Hutchinson ended up being the unsung hero for the Leafs tonight. After a shaky, two-goal first period, Toronto’s third-string netminder was able to end the night with an impressive .941 save percentage on 34 shots.
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