Pressure on Leafs defence to ride out goaltending crisis

With first choice goaltenders Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov out injured, the Maple Leafs must rely on an untested tandem of Erik Kallgren and Keith Petruzzelli but the onus is on Toronto's defence to guide the team through this challenging stretch.

Video Transcript

- Goaltending is taking a serious hit when it comes to the Leafs. Matt Murray is still out. Ilya Samsonov is out. And now for the time being, Erik Kallgren is our starter, and Keith Petruzzelli is the backup. How do you feel about that? I'm a little concerned, I'm not going to lie.

I'm not saying that Erik Kallgren is bad, even though a lot of Leafs fans aren't necessarily comfortable with him. But you have a goalie who hasn't necessarily played a full season, and then you have Keith Petruzzelli, who hasn't played in the NHL at all.

So I asked, hey, how are you feeling about the tandem of Kallgren and Petruzzelli? And for the most part, we're all worried and concerned. And again, I completely agree with that. Now it's kind of up to the team to change that. Because even though the individual goalies may kind of be up and down, as far as their play style and their playing ability, the Leafs in front of them can make it a lot easier.

If the defense really cleans things up, if we're clearing up rebounds, and not giving up second and third opportunities, if we're giving our goalies an opportunity to make that save-- open lanes, all that type of stuff-- then it's not going to be too much of a big deal. Right, yes, goalies individually can make or break a game. But the team in front of them can actually make it easier.

If you're concerned or worried about the goaltending tandem, well, you have every right to be. Again, I am as well. But that just puts more onus on the Leafs in front of them. Can they make it easier for Kallgren and Petruzzelli? They're going to have to. Because if they don't, then this wave of positivity that we've been experiencing so far may not last as long as we'd like.