An­der­sen prov­ing to be bar­gain for Maple Leafs

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - SPORTS - TERRY KOSHAN tkoshan@post­media.com

The Maple Leafs are get­ting their money’s worth out of Fred­erik An­der­sen.

Of the 22 goal­tenders in the Na­tional Hockey League this sea­son who had played in at least 10 games through Tues­day, only three — An­drei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Light­ning (.935), John Gib­son of the Ana­heim Ducks (.933) and De­van Dub­nyk of the Min­nesota Wild (.930) — had a bet­ter save per­cent­age than the mark of .929 that An­der­sen has pro­vided in 13 games for Toronto.

After 2018-19, An­der­sen will have two years re­main­ing on a con­tract that car­ries an annual salary cap hit of $5-mil­lion US. This sea­son, no less than 16 goalies in the NHL are cost­ing their teams more money against the cap.

An­der­sen was the rea­son the Leafs beat the Ve­gas Golden Knights on Tues­day night at Sco­tia­bank Arena, a vic­tory that in­cluded An­der­sen turn­ing aside all eight shots he faced in the third pe­riod.

Not a great work­load to be sure, but it was a con­tin­u­a­tion of the kind of net­mind­ing An­der­sen has been pro­vid­ing in the fi­nal 20 min­utes in each of his games. An­der­sen has posted a .936 save per­cent­age in the third pe­riod, stop­ping 131 of 140 shots on goal.

With the Leafs’ of­fen­sive skills in abun­dance — though tested with Aus­ton Matthews nurs­ing a shoul­der in­jury and re­stricted free agent Wil­liam Ny­lan­der dig­ging in his heels — An­der­sen doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to be ter­rific ev­ery night.

Of­ten, though, An­der­sen has been that, and to the tune of $5-mil­lion, he has been a bar­gain.

“His abil­ity to be as quick as he is go­ing post to post, never re­ally be­ing out of it (are key as­sets),” Leafs for­ward John Tavares said. “As a shooter, know­ing a goalie is re­ally ever out of it, there is al­ways a bit of doubt in the back of your mind in that he has the chance to make a save on you. He is just real poised.”

Loose Leafs

Per­haps it was not the way Bab­cock planned it, but with the Leafs hold­ing on to a one-goal lead late against Ve­gas, de­fence­man Ron Hain­sey had a shift that lasted one minute 56 sec­onds, end­ing two sec­onds be­fore Nazem Kadri scored into an empty net. “It prob­a­bly just turned out that way, (Hain­sey) couldn’t get off the ice,” Bab­cock said. “Ron knows where to stand when the game is on the line so hav­ing a lit­tle knowl­edge and be­ing a vet­eran and stand­ing in the right spot never hurt any­body.” … Pa­trick Mar­leau’s as­sist on the goal by Kadri put him at 599 in his NHL ca­reer. That ties Mar­leau with Alex Ko­valev for 88th on the NHL list … The Leafs, who did not prac­tise on Wed­nes­day, loaned for­ward Trevor Moore back to the Toronto Mar­lies. With the Leafs start­ing a four-game trip on Satur­day in Bos­ton, ex­pect Moore, if not a dif­fer­ent for­ward, to be re­called at some point in the com­ing days. Moore was re­called last Fri­day but did not get in a game … Ve­gas coach Ger­ard Gal­lant said on Wed­nes­day that Erik Haula, who suf­fered a right knee in­jury when he was hit by Mar­leau in the third pe­riod and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, will re­main with the team but will not play in the Knights’ next three games that com­prise the rest of their trip.

JACK BOLAND/TORONTO SUN

Toronto goalie Fred­erik An­der­sen has been a steal for the Leafs this sea­son.

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