For all the work that NHL teams (and those who follow them, on a rhetorical basis) do to assemble the perfect 18-skater roster, it’s never been more obvious that nothing in this league matters as long as you don’t have a goaltender to stop the shots you concede. In 2017/18, playoff teams averaged a save percentage of over ten points more than those that missed. 11 of the top 12 starting goaltenders in save percentage this season made the playoffs, and the one who didn’t (Antti Raanta) is a great example of why tank-calibre teams don’t actually end up in last unless they find a way to dress someone bad, unprepared, or broken in between the pipes.
The Toronto Maple Leafs brought in Frederik Andersen in June 2016 to solve that problem, figuring that the Anaheim Ducks 1A was going to be a wall of consistency for the team over the next five or so seasons that followed. In a lot of ways, that’s turned out to be true: the Great Dane has posted above league-average numbers while posting monster minutes in each of his first two seasons with the Leafs.
But great numbers in mid-season don’t matter if you can’t hold them in the later part of the season, and that’s perhaps the concern with him. More specifically, the concern is how well you can expect him to hold up if his workload keeps looking like this:---
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