Uh oh, Maple Leafs lose Frederik Andersen to injury

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The Toronto Maple Leafs figure to be in a tough fight for a playoff spot. Losing Frederik Andersen to an injury would make that battle even more daunting.

Andersen left Monday’s game against the Panthers with an upper-body injury. Andersen will not return. The Maple Leafs didn’t provide information beyond that game, so we’ll have to wait and see if this is serious.

Because, make no mistake about it, losing Andersen for even a little while would be a massive omission.

Andersen headed into Monday with 24-9-6 record and a .910 save percentage. Those are modest numbers, but he’s often carried a heavy burden behind a dicey Leafs defense. Michael Hutchinson, Andersen’s replacement, provides little reason for optimism.

People initially believed that a bump from Frank Vatrano injured Andersen. (You can watch that collision in the video above.)

Others brought up a few other possible instances:

 

Either way, it’s a big concern for the Maple Leafs. Most immediately, they face Monday’s challenge against the Panthers. If this ends up being significant, could this alter their trade deadline approach, and more? Again, we’ll see.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston shared an early, optimistic report:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.