Maple Leafs supporting Campbell through struggles, Mrazek to start Monday

Alexander Kerfoot speaks to the media about his teammate Jack Campbell's struggles, how everyone goes through lows in their lives, and how the team needs to keep having his back.

Despite Jack Campbell's extended rough stretch over the last couple months, his Toronto Maple Leafs teammates have faith the goaltender will break out his slump and head coach Sheldon Keefe believes he's "close" to re-finding his game.

"I was really happy with the way (Campbell and Petr Mrazek) competed in the net today, Jack especially after playing last night," said Keefe after Sunday's practice.

"I look at the day he had today, I see a guy that looks close to finding his game again. We've talked a little bit about this with John Tavares, he's doing enough things where it feels like he's going to breakout and he ultimately scores last night."

Keefe said Mrazek will get the start over Campbell on Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but plans to use both goalies as Toronto enters a four-game week.

Mrazek has also struggled throughout the season as the Maple Leafs have posted a league-worst .876 save percentage since Jan. 9., and empathized with his fellow netminder on Sunday.

"I've been there early in my career in Detroit I would say, you just play the game don't think too much, I'm trying to support him he's trying to support me as well," said Mrazek.

Auston Matthews, who leads the league in goals with 39 after scoring twice last night, said the Maple Leafs are supporting Campbell, and put some of the onus on the team to play better in front of him.

"As a team we're extremely tight and close, so when a guy is going through a tough time or tough stretch, everybody's there to try to pick him up and help him out," said Matthews. "(Campbell) holds himself to a really high standard, and I know he wants to play better for us too, but we also have to play better in front of him."

The Maple Leafs outshot the Canucks 38-29 on Saturday night, but still lost 6-4 after Vancouver rallied for three unanswered goals past Campbell in the third period.

"When things aren't going the way you want them to go, it's hard not to get down on yourself, and (Campbell) is going through that right now and we just have to be there to support him," said Maple Leafs centre Alexander Kerfoot. "He's had our backs numerous times throughout this year, we know he's going to continue to have our backs down the stretch."

The Maple Leafs play the Blue Jackets on Monday, followed by games against Seattle and Arizona on Tuesday and Thursday, before capping the week off with a Heritage Classic tilt against the Buffalo Sabres next Sunday on Sportsnet.

When submitting content, please abide by our  submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.
We use cookies to improve your experience. Learn More or change your cookie preferences. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.