Sheldon Keefe explains why he left Erik Kallgren in while he was getting lit up by Tampa

Published April 22, 2022 at 12:09
BY MIKE ARMENTI
There's no two ways around it, the Toronto Maple Leafs were absolutely thumped by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. Rookie goaltender Erik Kallgren got absolutely shelled in periods two and three after an otherwise strong first period, but the question that a lot of people had in the second period is why didn't Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe pull Kallgren and have Jack Campbell come into the game in relief to try and stop the bleeding?

Well, according to Keefe during his post game media availability, he had never even considered throwing Campbell in goal during that game.


The Swedish netminder allowed 8 goals in the contest, but Keefe was actually quite complimentary of Kallgren after the game, specifying that his play in the first period was "excellent".


«He'll be fine. He was excellent in that first period. The reality is they had better chances in the first period than they did in the second and third. They had clear 2-on-1s, clear shots with some of their best players in the first and he stood his ground.»

-Keefe on Kallgren

Was it really a wise move to allow the 25-year-old rookie to get blown out the way that he was at this stage in his young career? We know that the goaltending position is one that requires a lot of confidence and perseverance in order to excel. On the other hand, when a game is already well out of reach, especially at this point in the season, it also doesn't make much sense for the Leafs to throw their #1 goaltender in cold and risk injury in an otherwise meaningless game.

It's very likely that we'll see Kallgren and Campbell draw two starts apiece over the Leafs' final four games, as I'm sure the coaching staff will want to try to get both guys going before the playoffs begin.

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