The Toronto Maple Leafs have been kicking tires in goalie market for weeks now, but it’s time for Kyle Dubas to slip on a pair of steel-toed boots and get serious about adding to his depth in the crease.
Two things happened in Monday night’s dominant 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers that should hasten the search.
Starter Frederik Andersen left the game after getting knocked in the head, and backup Michael Hutchinson surrendered three goals on 13 shots, spoiling what coach Sheldon Keefe called “the best defensive game we’ve played the entire season.”
Even if Andersen—who passed concussion protocol and will be reevaluated Tuesday morning—is granted a clean bill of health, Monday’s scare should serve as a reminder how much the club’s playoff bid depends on having a capable netminder and how little pro goaltending experience the organization has in the minors.
Asked how much confidence he’d have in Hutchinson picking up Andersen’s workload if necessary, Keefe said this: “I’m not going to answer hypotheticals tonight.”
Not on the night Hutchinson recorded his 10th sub-.900 save percentage in 14 appearances.