All of a sudden Frederik Andersen is having a tough time, and so are his Toronto Maple Leafs.
Andersen allowed five goals on 31 shots in last night’s 5-1 loss in St. Louis, where the Blues scored three times in a span of 4:35 during the second period to put the game out of reach for the visitors.
“I’d like to make some more saves and give the team a better chance to win,” said Andersen. “In small periods like that where they come hard and score three, that’s never good. That’s one where you want to help your team out better. Everyone has got to look in the mirror and be better.”
For Andersen, after stringing together back-to-back shutouts, it was his second consecutive rough start. Tuesday in Dallas, he got yanked after surrendering three goals on eight shots in a 6-3 loss to the Stars.
For the Leafs, after a 15-game run that saw them go 11-2-2 and spend time in a playoff spot, it was their third straight regulation loss.
“The bottom line is we had a good thing going and we were playing good and we’ve let it slip away here,” said head coach Mike Babcock. “Now you’ve got to fight hard to get it back. There’s no sense feeling sorry for yourself or being frustrated. You’ve got to get your mind in gear, you’ve got to get your game right and you’ve got to play harder. When you do that and you play with structure, you’ll be fine. In the meantime, it’s not going as good as we’d like it to go.”
The Leafs have a big game tomorrow in Boston. With a regulation win, they can climb to within one point of the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division, and Toronto would still hold five games in hand.
“It’s going to be a playoff game – it’s not a playoff game, it’s not the playoffs, but it’s going to be an important game to both teams on Saturday night,” said Babcock. “Obviously, if you want this feeling to go away, you have to make it go away. No one is going to make it go away for you.”
Read more: Boston may be without Bergeron on Saturday
P.S. — the Bruins aren’t the only team the Leafs have to be concerned about. There’s another team in the race now: the Florida Panthers, who will get Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau back for tonight’s game against Anaheim.