The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have finally acknowledged that goaltender Frederik Andersen has been injured, albeit indirectly.
According to an official report from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization the team has made the decision to call up 25 year old goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo from the Toronto Marlies, the American Hockey League affiliate team of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The move is a curious one due to the fact that Kaskisuo has had his fair share of struggles at the AHL level this season, appearing in 11 games for the Marlies and recording an abysmal 4.12 goals against average and an .866 save percentage.
The move however would appear to confirm the growing suspicions some fans have had about the lack of playing time for starting netminder Frederik Andersen lately, suspicions that led many to believe that something more than meets the eye was going on behind the scenes. Andersen has not played since a rather poor performance on his part against the New York Rangers all the way back on the 22nd of December, although the Leafs claimed that they were merely giving him extra rest at the time. In that game Andersen looked off and allowed 3 goals on the 28 shots he faced for an ,893 save percentage.
Although we have not heard official confirmation from the Maple Leafs just yet, Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman is now reporting that the real reason behind Andersen's extended absence from the net has been due to an injury. According to Friedman Andersen is currently dealing with a groin injury and his status is currently day to day and he attempts to recover from that injury. This means that Andersen will not be in goal tonight ahead of a hotly anticipated match up against the New York Islanders, a team that was formerly captained by Toronto Maple Leafs' star forward John Tavares.
You know that the Islanders will be looking to stick it to their former captain, a captain who abandoned ship of his own free will, on Saturday night and you also know that the Maple Leafs will be hard at working looking to pick up the win for Tavares. It looks like the Leafs will be down a big weapon however.