It has been a rough week for Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen as he was pulled for the second time in three games on Sunday after allowing four goals on 12 shots against the Florida Panthers.
Andersen was taken out after Mike Matheson scored 49 seconds into the second period. Florida would proceed to score on their next shot on goal as Frank Vatrano had a short-handed goal on Michael Hutchinson, who took over for Andersen.
After the game, Andersen admits that he was not at his best against Florida and that the loss should be a good lesson for the team moving forward.
“I don’t think I had my best game either. I wanted to be able to make some saves in big moments and I wasn’t good enough today,” Andersen told reporters. “I think once they got the lead we started playing into their hand, forcing some pucks when we really didn’t need to and the game got out of hand.
“I think we need to be connected through all three layers of goalie, [defence] and forwards,” Andersen added. “I think that support is huge for us to sustain pressure and not open the ice for them too much.”
The 30-year-old was pulled earlier in the week against the Edmonton Oilers after allowing three goals on 19 shots as head coach Sheldon Keefe said it was a message to his players rather than Andersen’s play.
“I said I wasn’t going to let him play behind that,” Keefe said after Toronto’s 6-4 loss to Edmonton. “I didn’t think it was fair to him, so we needed to make a change. We had no issue with anything that he was doing in the net.
“Like I said, (he’d faced) almost a full game’s worth of work to that point.”
Andersen was pulled just three times last season and was recently named to his first All-Star Game. In 35 games this season, he has a 21-8-0 record with a 2.74 GAA and a .914 save percentage.