Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen led his team to victory last night over the visiting Nashville Predators with a dazzling 44 save performance, just 48 hours after taking a skate to the face from Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry. The resilient Andersen seemingly shook off any ill effects he suffered from Monday’s game and put forth one of his best games of the season against the Preds last night.
The “Freddy, Freddy” chants rained down at Air Canada Centre last night, buoying the team to a 3-2 shootout victory. Several of Andersen’s 44 saves were of the highlight reel variety, so let’s get to them.
Andersen saved his best for last though, making this incredible wrap around save on Ryan Johansen with just moments left in the tie game:
Eventually the game would go to a shootout and winger James van Riemsdyk would put things away with a beauty:
Babcock sends a strong message to Leafs management ahead of trade deadline
In other Leafs news from yesterday, head coach Mike Babcock met with the media prior to last night's game to discuss the upcoming trade deadline and his team's need. It’s no secret that Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello has been beating down doors in an effort to land another top six defenceman for his club. All season long the Leafs have been linked to any available blue liner in trade rumours whether it’s the Vancouver Canucks’ Erik Gudbranson, the Detroit Red Wings’ Mike Green or the Colorado Avalanche’s Tyson Barrie. So far, however, Lamoriello has been patient, waiting for the right deal to land on his lap. The emergence of rookie Travis Dermott in the past two weeks has settled things down a bit, but it’s still being speculated that Lamoriello would like to make a splash at this year’s NHL trade deadline.
So, what does his coach think? When asked about what his team needs for the stretch drive, Babcock was reticent to give up any information.
Uh… but Babs, WE need to know! Reading between the lines a bit here, it looks like Babcock has an idea of what he believes his team needs in terms of roster additions. Without knowing what sort of discussions have transpired between Babcock and Lamoriello, we can only speculate as to what those needs are, however.
Another top six defence is one need, but how about a reliable 3rd line center? Babcock has rotated Dominic Moore in and out of the lineup and the Leafs could stand to make a move at that position, much like they did last season when they acquired veteran Brian Boyle from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
What happens to the Leafs’ roster between now and the deadline remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the team’s coach has a few targets in mind. Will he get his man? Time will tell.