Media killing Frederik Andersen

on November 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We all know it isn’t, but if you listened to the media around Leafland these days, it would be difficult to believe otherwise. As much as the spotlight has been on the exciting, high-flying rookies like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and current Rookie of the Month William Nylander, there has been an equal amount of time spent on persecuting the Maple Leafs #1 goalie, Frederik Andersen. Now don’t get me wrong, he has played poorly and at times, has even been awful. I am sure he would be the first person to admit that, and in reality, it isn’t a big deal. But wait! This is Toronto and these are the Maple Leafs so of course it has to be a big deal or more accurately, the media has to turn this molehill into Mount Everest. The paranoia surrounding Andersen can be summed up in two statements. He isn’t very good and his contract will cripple the Leafs. Here is why both statements are false.

He just isn’t that good

As I said, he has played horribly during his entire history with the Maple Leafs which is equivalent to a grand total of… oh my word, 8 games where he had a terrible record of 3 wins, 2 losses and 3 OT losses. That’s it. Now I am not saying that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to be this “bad”, but seriously it has only been a handful of games. I don’t understand how some people, who call themselves journalists, are calling Andersen a bust at this early stage. Against Edmonton, he not only gave up a weak goal in the first period, it also came in the last minute of the first period which is a huge momentum and confidence killer for a team. The Leafs for some reason fed off of it as the second period was their best period by far. This doesn’t excuse his poor play as it can demoralize a contending team over a period of time. But this isn’t a contending team and this hasn’t been anywhere close to a significant amount of time. Give him a chance to grow and adjust to what it means to be a goaltender in this hockey-mad city. No one expects the Maple Leafs to make the playoffs this year so wins and losses are secondary compared to watching how the team grows and matures. Therefore it doesn’t matter if he just isn’t that good because winning at this stage of the Maple Leaf evolution is not the priority.

Leafs are stuck with a bad goalie for 5 years

This is why at times I can’t stand the media or fans in this city when it comes to the Leafs. Not only are people are complaining about his performance but also his 5-year/$25M contract. Bad enough we have to listen to how bad he is right now, nooooo we also have to hear how bad Frederik Andersen will be over the next four years as well. This mentality is absurd and thinking this is a problem that has to be fixed at this very moment is a scare tactic used by media to drum up false paranoia. Why? I’m not sure, maybe because they believe they will get higher ratings as everyone loves to watch a train wreck. Are you really afraid that “if” this is a bad contract that it will hang around the Leafs neck like a noose? If you really believe what some of the media is selling you than I got just three words for you. Phaneuf. Kessel. Clarkson. All three “horrible” contracts and yet all managed to be traded. Come on Toronto fans, you are smarter than this, I know you are. I’m not saying to give Andersen a free ride. If he lets in a soft goal (or two like he did against Edmonton) then fine, say he let in a couple of bad goals. But don’t hype this into a disaster of biblical proportions because quite simply, it isn’t.

Honestly, it’s like listening to Rush Limbaugh spew lie after lie after lie to lazy, uneducated Americans making them believe “their second amendment rights” are being threatened. When really the only thing he wants to accomplish (and unfortunately succeeding at) is getting people to buy more guns. So Toronto sports fans, take a deep breath and relax. There isn’t a crisis in Leafland. In the next couple of years if the new management regime believes that Andersen really isn’t the right goalie to take them to the promised land, they will find an alternative. For now however, watching the kids grow, mature and learn to play together is the priority. Concentrate on that and let Andersen carry on with his improvement as well. You just may be surprised to find that he is the chosen one after all. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself if there were any Leaf goalies that we gave up on too soon? Maybe Vezina and Stanley Cup winner Tuukka Rask ? I rest my case.

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