Jack Campbell is on the cusp of returning to the Maple Leafs’ crease.
Petr Mrazek, meanwhile, will once again be out for an extended period.
Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe said before Thursday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets the goaltender will likely miss at least six weeks with a groin injury – his third of the season – suffered Tuesday in Boston against the Bruins.
“Mrazek is getting another consultation just to get some confirmation on some things,” Keefe said. “But that’s the sense we have right now.”
The 30-year-old, who will be out the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs based on that timeline, had put together solid back-to-back wins against the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers after clearing waivers prior to the NHL trade deadline following a string of poor performances.
Mrazek is in the first season of a three-year, US$11.4-million contract signed in free agency last summer. He hurt his groin in his inaugural Toronto start in October and then reaggravated the injury in December before suffering yet another setback this week.
He’s 12-6-0 in 2021-22 with an .888 save percentage and a 3.34 goals-against average.
Campbell also struggled before being shut down with a rib ailment following a 6-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken on March 8.
The 30-year-old was lights out early in the season to earn the first all-star nod of his career, but has an .872 save percentage since Jan. 8.
“He’s actually cleared medically at this point,” Keefe said of Campbell. “It’s just a matter of him feeling good and ready to play in a game.”
Rookie netminder Erik Kallgren, who picked up a 6-4 victory Tuesday after Mrazek’s departure in Boston, was scheduled to start against the Jets.
“Kallgren’s done a great job,” Keefe said of the 25-year-old Swede. “He’s won big games for us.
“He’s gained confidence the more comfortable he gets here.”
Keefe also updated the status of defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin, who left Tuesday after taking a blindside punch to the side of the head from Taylor Hall.
The Boston winger was fined $5,000 by the NHL’s department of player safety, but not suspended.
“It’s not my job to make those decisions,” Keefe said of the punishment. “I’m disappointed that we lost a player in the game to put us in a tough spot.”
Lyubushkin skated before his teammates took the ice Thursday morning, but was ruled out against Winnipeg.
“He’s a guy who has been playing very well for us,” said Keefe, who added fellow blueliner Justin Holl is OK after taking a puck to the head and also leaving Tuesday’s contest. “For (Lyubushkin) to not be available because of a play like that is tough to take, but we’ll move on from here. We’re happy to hear that it looks like it’s not going to be serious.
“We hope he’s going to continue to progress and will be available for us in the near future.”