The top line is rolling, the power play is fierce, and once Jake Muzzin (concussion) returns, the back end should be more balanced than ever with defencemen who enjoy defending.
But fans’ concerns for the crease will linger, particularly with Tampa Bay, Boston and Florida showing stronger in that area. Among all playoff-bound teams in the Eastern Conference, Toronto’s save percentage (.902) rates worst.
“I know that the division looks ominous,” Dubas said.
“And I think that’s the best thing for us. It’d be great if it was easy, but I think how big of a challenge it is forces our group in the final stretch to get our game into order.”
More important: Campbell must get his game in order. Because if Toronto needs to dig any deeper on its depth chart, the Leafs’ fate may already be sealed.metasports
But when the Leafs tried slipping Säteri through waivers, he got scooped by the Arizona Coyotes, leaving Toronto with zero goaltending upgrade.
“Didn’t work out — much like a lot of the players we’ve put on waivers,” said Dubas, disappointed. “Since 2018 in the fall, we’ve had 11 guys claimed, which I think is double [any other team in the league].
“Probably a feather in our cap, but it hurts in moments like this.”
The Leafs roll on with an injured Campbell, an unproven Källgren, and a version of Mrazek that none of the league’s other 31 clubs wanted for nothing. Not with that cap hit or that term.
How do you sell faith in a goaltender after you give his starts to an AHL callup with no NHL experience and place him on waivers before the trade deadline?