Do the Toronto Maple Leafs have Stanley Cup caliber goaltending?
By Neil Becker
Heading towards the March 21st. NHL trade deadline, the million-dollar question is should Leafs Nation be concerned about their number one goalie Jack Campbell?
Arguably the best moment of Campbell’s Leaf career came on April 10, 2021, when the man affectionately called ‘Soupy’ was all smiles after starting the season with a league-record 11 straight wins, with the eleventh coming in a 6-5 decision against the Ottawa Senators.
Still, when you think of Stanley Cup contenders, you think of teams with consistent elite goaltending. Teams such as the defending Stanley Cup champions who have all-star Andrei Vasilevskiy, Carolina Hurricanes who have the consistent Frederick Andersen, or the Calgary Flames who have Jacob Markstrom.
It’s no secret that to be an elite starter, one must be strong mentally, especially in the playoffs.
Campbell as all Leafs fans known has a tendency to beat himself up for his mistakes and has trouble forgetting about bad outings. Personally, I don’t think that’s a good recipe for a goalie on a Stanley Cup caliber team to have.
His latest bout of inconsistency came on Saturday night when he surrendered five goals and was eventually pulled in the third of a wild 10-7 win against the Detroit Red Wings.
I do hope that Campbell can rebound and be that re-capture that first-half magic. He has had to work for everything he has earned and I would love to see nothing better than him lead the Leafs to a deep Stanley Cup run. Realistically, I just don’t know if that’s going to happen. Only time will tell.