Which nice-guy goalie will Maple Leafs ice?

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It’s a thriller to many how the Maple Leafs will create a battle for the crease on this coaching time when the principal combatants are such pleased campers.


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Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek are unfailingly well mannered in social settings, of their media encounters and to one another. However now it’s time to cue the Odd Couple theme, as they’ll’t share the identical web on sport evening.

“Between Petr and Jack, we’ve got two guys who’re assured, comfy and straightforward going, but critical and aggressive,” coach Sheldon Keefe acknowledged Wednesday, earlier than Mrazek and the starters for the sport group on Ottawa departed.

Mrazek has teased Campbell about their head-to-head competitors in a round-robin sport within the 2012 world juniors the place the Czech Republic gained 5-2. Additionally they have completely different tastes in gear, Mrazek alternates blue pads at residence, white on the highway, whereas Campbell works in a single set. In any other case, the 2 29-year-olds, born only a month aside, have grown shut by camp.


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“We’ve frolicked on the rink, just a little away from the rink, and our girlfriends have gotten to know one another,” Campbell mentioned. “It’s only a actual enjoyable relationship as a result of we push one another a lot. It clicks quite a bit, however on the finish of the day, we simply need to win and for this group to be winners. I believe it’s nice what we’re each bringing.

“It’s solely been one sport collectively (a raft of early penalties Monday in Montreal made it a tough begin for Campbell), however realizing (Mrazek’s) profession, he flips that change (at puck drop) and is super-competitive. I’m excited to maintain constructing that. Whoever is in, I imagine we give the staff an opportunity to win each evening.”

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Mrazek mentioned he has labored with a sports activities psychologist again residence on being extra relaxed in stress conditions.


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“At first in Detroit (as a rookie) I assumed I didn’t want one, that it was all about how I’d know I’d cease the puck. However in Carolina (his most up-to-date cease) I reached out to 1 (Marian Jelinek), who labored with Jaromir Jagr for 20 years and lived with him within the States. We’re involved each single day. Something I would like, I can ask him.”

However Mrazek concedes that within the NHL with 82 video games, one goalie can’t do all of it and he have to be mentally ready to cope with sitting.


With the Ottawa sport lineup largely populated by new gamers, three quarters of the Core 4 forwards spent Wednesday afternoon with the remainder of he roster, honing issues similar to the ability play.

Lacking was proper winger William Nylander, given the day without work for a “private” matter based on the membership, versus a medical concern.


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Auston Matthews was in his second straight follow in his sluggish build-up from wrist surgical procedure, once more leaving about midway by. Matthews, Mitch Marner, Johns Tavares, Jason Spezza (in Nylander’s place) and defenceman Morgan Rielly labored on the primary energy play unit.


The Leafs intend to make Friday’s Blue and Whie intra-squad sport at Scotiabank a salute to those that helped the GTA climate the pandemic.

Tickets are being donated by the MLSE Basis ‘Change The Recreation’ program and Canadian Tire to permit in frontline and important employees, together with healthcare staff, meals financial institution staff, academics, shelter staff and group businesses.

The sport will likely be televised on TSN and Sportsnet and have in-arena promotions with membership personalities. For Keefe, it’s an additional probability to see gamers earlier than making cuts.


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The Leafs are reaching the midway level of their coaching camp exhibitions, nonetheless two weeks away from their season opener and a six or seven-month schedule of 82 common season video games after that.

“It’s going to be a grind for positive,” defenceman Justin Holl mentioned. “Final 12 months was condensed as nicely, however it was simply 56 video games. This 12 months will likely be lengthy, however it will likely be enjoyable.”

Keefe’s first full NHL camp has been as detailed as marketed, in search of to construct a basis to not simply make the playoffs, however lastly win a primary spherical.

“Camp is extraordinarily aggressive and also you by no means actually really feel comfy, even in the event you’ve been right here earlier than,” Holl mentioned. “You continue to should earn your spot.

“There’s lots of methods work, lots of stuff for the brand new guys and for guys who’ve been right here. We’re additionally studying new issues and minor tweaks.”


Mrazek has tributes to ex-Leafs Jiri Crha and the late Miroslav Frycer on his shiny new chrome masks, the late Frycer being his first agent. “I’m grateful he discovered me, gave me a primary look with a professional staff and I may skate with them after I was simply 15 years outdated. It’s too unhappy he’s not right here to see me in Toronto” … Zach Hyman had a objective from Connor McDavid and assisted on an influence play strike from the latter and Leon Draisaitl on Tuesday because the Oilers routed Seattle 6-0 … One other ex-Leaf, Frederik Andersen, made 33 saves in Carolina’s 3-1 win over Tampa Bay.



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