It’s probably not too much of a surprise that Andersen won’t join the Leafs on the road trip, as they are already in Winnipeg and it’s an awfully long bus ride there from Toronto, but in addition to missing Friday’s game against Winnipeg, Andersen also won’t be in Calgary on Sunday and Monday…
Sheldon Keefe said Frederik Andersen had follow up appointment today. The feedback is that he’s progressing well. #Leafs will continue to monitor him and reassess next week.
Won’t join Leafs on this trip.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) April 1, 2021
So this means a couple of things. First, progress is good, but progress can mean a lot of things.
Second, the earliest that the team will be back in Toronto with Andersen will be on Tuesday before their Wednesday game against Montreal. If the intention is to reassess him at that time, we can probably assume that Andersen won’t be in goal Wednesday either. That essentially means that if the Leafs want to get a look at Andersen in advance of the trade deadline to know the level he’s playing at it, it will Saturday the 10th against Ottawa. Given that it is their last game before the trade deadline and only one game, that seems like having a solid backup plan for if it doesn’t work out should be in place for the deadline…
The third thing that it means is that we’ll almost certainly be treated to a Michael Hutchinson start against Calgary. Given the efforts of the Leafs to keep Jack Campbell rested, I’m wondering if he’ll see the first game of the back to back given that Campbell will have faced the Jets on Friday night. Of course you can just as easily make the case that starting Hutchinson on Monday gives Campbell another day of rest before the start against Montreal on Wednesday, so I think it will come down to what his workload looks like on Friday night.
While progress is good, the Leafs are short on time for deciding how to proceed to with goaltending down the stretch. And a healthy Andersen still isn’t a guarantee of a high performing Andersen. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for the Leafs over the next 11 days.