Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen left Monday’s game versus the Florida Panthers after winding up on the receiving end of a collision in the first period and did not return.
On Tuesday, Freddie’s prognosis became at least a little more clear.
Freddie Andersen will not travel to New York. Has a neck injury. Hope Kaskisuo packed a duffle.— Justin Cuthbert (@jccuthbert) February 4, 2020
It’s day to day, and the Leafs are managing the symptoms.— Justin Cuthbert (@jccuthbert) February 4, 2020
Panthers forward Frank Vatrano barrelled into Andersen during the first period of Monday’s contest, and the 30-year-old left for further evaluation and did not return. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said after the game that Andersen went through concussion protocol and was feeling better, but would be evaluated again in the morning.
That evaluation, as far as we know right now, is ongoing, but it appears the Leafs goaltender has avoided any serious or long-term injury — though every contest that Andersen misses could be considered serious for Toronto at this point. Andersen was diagnosed with a neck injury, and is listed as day-to-day.
Michael Hutchinson replaced Andersen for the start of the second period on Monday and allowed three goals on 13 shots as the Panthers rallied in the third period to win 5-3.
It would be catastrophic for the Maple Leafs if Andersen missed any time at all. Although he’s struggled for large portions of the 2019-20 season, Andersen has faced a larger volume of starts and shots than any goaltender since joining the Maple Leafs in 2016-17. He is an imperative component to the team keeping their playoff hopes alive, let alone their larger ambitions of winning a Stanley Cup.
Through 41 starts, Andersen has posted a 24-9-6 record with a 2.87 goals against average and .910 save percentage.
Toronto has faced myriad injuries with John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly, Andreas Johnsson and Ilya Mikheyev all missing significant time with various ailments throughout the season.
Hutchinson hasn’t inspired confidence for most of his Maple Leafs’ tenure but he’s playing some of the best hockey of his career lately and will need to be at his absolute best in the event that Andersen is out for any time whatsoever.
Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo was recalled from the Marlies and joined the Leafs at practice Tuesday morning.
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