After a chorus of boo’s fell upon Alex Radulov for his tenure at the Montreal Canadiens, the rambunctious Ruski delivered his revenge on the Leaf’s MVP. With some physical encouragement from Roman Polak, Radulov dropped onto Frederik Andersen’s head and drove it into the ice. Awesome. This is why we can’t have nice things. Andersen left the game and did not return as Curtis McElhinney, the most nerve racking goaltender in the league, sealed off the victory.
Now, Anderson has had a very checkered injury history in regards to concussions, or as Babcock likes to call them “upper body injuries.” So there is reason to be a little nervous. I’ll take up the profession of spin doctor here to try and calm myself down about the prospect of Andersen missing any long stretch of time.
First and foremost, he isn’t on Injured Reserve. He was tagged as day-to-day, which to Babcock is usually 10-14 days of time off. IR designation would mean a minimum of seven days off, but likely more as its usage is reserved for longer term issues. As fallout, Garrett Sparks has been recalled on an emergency move from the Marlies. Sparks, who may be the best American Hockey League goalie this season will only serve as a back up, unless Curt proverbially shits the bed in Buffalo – so I wouldn’t count on seeing him.
The positive from this situation is it gives Lou, Babs, Shanny, and the rest of Leaf’s nation the right to tell Andersen to take a load off. Kick back, relax, have a drink, put your feet up, just…just don’t play hockey for a little bit. But get one thing straight, I don’t buy into this “he’s tired” narrative that seems to be following him around this season.
He is a professional hockey player, and at 6′ 4″, 230lbs, he is a pure ginger, adonis too. He is a PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE which means his only marketable skill is literally playing hockey. That simple piece of information should be enough to deflate any argument about the perfectly conditioned, pro hockey player, “seeing too many pucks,” but context helps too.
So then, let’s give this some context shall we? The late, great Johnny Bower, the ambassador to everyone who knows the Maple Leafs can shed some light on being tired. Bower enlisted underage in the Army pre-WWII and served for four years before being discharged due to rheumatoid arthritis – then went on to play professional hockey from 1945-1970 WITHOUT a god damn face mask.
Anderson got a bonk on his head, and it’s serious seeing as his passed history with concussions and UBI’s and the information we have about CTE now. Let’s just embrace the 14 point lead Toronto has on Florida for their play off position, ride out the season and get off Freddy’s back.
Sure he’s seen some rubber, but thats his job. He’s seen tape on Jake Gardiner too i’m sure, so he knew what he was signing up for (see every clip of Gardiner handling a puck at the offensive blue line). Let him rest, stop saying he’s tired and let’s all collectively hold our breath as McElhinney refuses to go into his butterfly and yet somehow continues to make saves