The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Sunday morning that the team has recalled goalie Garret Sparks from the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.
Frederik Andersen, the Maple Leafs’ regular starter, was injured on Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins following a collision with Tom Sestito. He remained down on the ice for a few moments before eventually leaving the game. He was replaced by backup Curtis McElhinney who ended up playing a massive role in the Maple Leafs’ win, making a last-minute sprawling save on Sidney Crosby to help preserve the win and clinch a playoff spot for his team.
After the game coach Mike Babcock said he had no update on Andersen’s status, but that “ideally” he would start Sunday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. But on Sunday morning Babcock announced that even though Andersen was not experiencing any concussion symptoms, he will not dress for the game.
Babcock added that he expects Andersen to practice tomorrow and be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs.
Here is the play that injured Andersen.
It’s not like this is a throw away game for the Maple Leafs just because they have their playoff spot clinched. Seeding is still at stake and a win over the Blue Jackets would put them into the third spot in the Atlantic Division and give them an opening round draw against the Ottawa Senators. A loss pushes them into the second wild card spot and a meeting with the Washington Capitals.
Sparks appeared in 17 games for the Maple Leafs a year ago, posting a .893 save percentage. He has not appeared in a game for the team this season.