“Easy decision”: Leafs riding rookie goalie Källgren

Mar 16 2022, 8:18 pm

The Toronto Maple Leafs are turning to rookie goalie Erik Källgren once again.

Following a 4-0 shutout over Dallas in his first career start on Tuesday, the Leafs are turning to Källgren tomorrow night when they take on the at Carolina Hurricanes at Scotiabank Arena.

“Not a lot of thought goes into it,” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters at Wednesday’s practice when asked about the decision. “It’s as simple as that. He obviously earned it last night. With the way the guys played in front of him, it is an easy decision.”

The 25-year-old Källgren was initially signed by the Leafs this summer, spending most of the season with the Toronto Marlies.

After a hot start to the season, the Leafs’ goaltending woes have been on full display over the last few months.

Since January 1, the team’s save percentage has ranked 28th out of 32 team in the NHL.

The Leafs have reportedly kicked tires on Chicago goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as a possible trade deadline acquisition, but have stuck with internal options for the time being.

Despite a record of 10-6-0 in 17 games, Petr Mrazek has struggled mightily in his first year in Toronto with a goals against average of 3.48 and a save percentage of .884 this season.

“My talk with him has really just been about using this time to his benefit,” Keefe said about his conversations with giving Mrazek the net on Thursday night. “Erik has certainly earned another start. Use this time to your benefit, clear your head, do your work, and be ready when your next start comes.”

Starter Jack Campbell (24-9-4, 2.65 GAA, .914 save %) has been sidelined with a rib injury, and is expected to be out for at least another week per his initial diagnosis, which led to Källgren being called up last week.

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