Rogers Media

Maple Leafs placing all their faith in Frederik Andersen

The Toronto Maple Leafs got deeper at every position over the summer except the most important one.

A seasoned centre who can win draws, chip in offence and kill penalties? Come on home, Dominic Moore.

One of the fastest and most trustworthy scoring wingers on the open market? Pack your bags, Patrick Marleau.

Compelling additions to a defence core widely regarded at the club’s weak spot? Welcome to North America, Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman. Welcome to Canada, Ron Hainsey.

But in net? The Maple Leafs stood pat. They cut ties with prospect Antoine Bibeau after his sub-.900 save percentage in the AHL, and re-signed backup Curtis McElhinney, the 34-year-old journeyman they picked up mid-season off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

We must be cautious about reading too much into the pre-season, let alone one game in the pre-season, but the two-year, $1.7-million reign of McElhinney got off to the shakiest of starts Monday night in Ottawa: four goals allowed on 12 shots before getting pulled in favour of third-stringer Garret Sparks.

“The puck just went in the net way too much,” coach Mike Babcock said.

Twitter was less kind, to put it gently, as McElhinney’s first 2017-18 impression confirmed for many a safe assumption.

More than any other single player, the Leafs’ success relies on Frederik Andersen.