TORONTO – We’re nearly four weeks into Petr Mrazek’s career as a Toronto Maple Leaf, and the highest-paid goaltender on the club has played a grand total of five periods.
Upon signing the veteran netminder to a three-year, $11.4-million contract as a free agent over the summer, Toronto envisioned a friendly internal competition for the net.
Instead, Mrazek’s poor health has turned the crease into a one-man show.
Jack Campbell, 29, will make his 10th appearance in this young season Saturday, as the Maple Leafs host the Boston Bruins and look to build on their four-game win streak.
Campbell has posted a 5-2-1 record with a sparkling 1.89 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. He has allowed four goals total in his past four appearances.
Mrazek, meanwhile, is 1-1 with a 4.20 GAA and a .877 save percentage.
Earlier this week, Mrazek re-aggravated the groin injury he suffered on Oct. 14 in Ottawa and is being re-evaluated Saturday.
The Leafs expect to have more clarity on a timeline for recovery by Sunday.
Because Mrazek played on Oct. 30, he cannot be retroactively placed on LTIR back to mid-October.
The Maple Leafs recalled Joseph Woll Saturday to back up Campbell.
The 23-year-old prospect is 2-1 with a .895 save percentage for the AHL Marlies this season.
“We liked his camp and he’s coming off a really strong start for him,” coach Sheldon Keefe explained. “[Michael] Hutchinson is going to play today for the Marlies, so it’s a good opportunity for Woll to come in here.”
No doubt, Campbell has played fantastic, but without a healthy legitimate backup to lean on, his workload is already being monitored in Toronto.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe is doing his best to temper alarm bells.
“I wouldn't call it a concern because he's been really healthy, and I think we've managed him really well on off-days and practice days for the workload purpose,” Keefe said.
“So, we’re obviously very comfortable continuing with Jack.”
The Maple Leafs’ next back-to-back arrives Friday versus Calgary and Saturday at Buffalo.
Campbell will need relief for one of those games.
One-Timers: Justin Holl will serve his fourth consecutive healthy scratch Saturday, while rookie Timothy Liljegren plays a fourth straight game…. The Leafs will revert back to the same forward lines they used to start Thursday’s Lightning game. So while Keefe reunited Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner mid-game to jolt the group, he’s pairing Matthews with William Nylander and Marner with John Tavares for puck drop again…. Linus Ullmark gets the start in net for the Bruins.