TORONTO – The crisp, white maple leaf featuring Frederick Anderson’s chest protector looked exactly the same, but the multi-colored crown sealed above triggered a double take.
Same city, same goalie. New league, new uniform.
Anderson returned to the farm Thursday after seven seasons and 1,071 kilometers removed from his days as Norfolk Admiral.
It is a dream come true to see the $ 25 million work of maple leaves that lead Toronto Marlis to the ice for an empty-building matinee in the cozy Coca-Cola Coliseum.
The backbone of the Toronto maple leaves is four-and-a-half seasons – six feet four, 230 pounds his teammates affectionately known as “Fredzilla” – begins the renewed task of getting his old job back, save one at a time.
– Toronto Marlis (ont Toronto Marlis) May 6, 2021
Since he last saw the game on March 19, Anderson and Maple Leaf have been increasing their time (and their pay cap) in an effort to stay mentally and physically in better shape for the Anderson playoffs.
“I got to a point where I could not feel confident in the web. To be aggressive, I had to push and stop as hard as I needed to,” Anderson said. “I think it showed. I mean, it’s so hard to say stop. I think as a player and a competitor, you don’t want to admit or stop yourself. ”
First, Big Dane underwent several weeks of testing for ice and allowed the knee injury to heal. Gradually, he re-worked in full team practices.
Anderson experienced reassurance by referring to the western road oscillations of the leaves, and G.M. Kyle Dubas rented David Riddick from Calgary during the trading period in exchange for the third round selection and bought the precious Plan B.
The conditioning sting with Marleys on Thursday – an arrangement for NHL companies to return from a long-term wounded balance – was, in a word, undervalued.
Anderson, who tried to block the fort against the Manitoba Moose behind inexperienced defenders, stoned Cole Perpetti to empty the post after a D-Zone payout.
However, after a while, Jeff Malot left him clean. Die Belton-Pais, who was partially separated, scored on Manitoba’s next shot.
Both strikes were high-risk chances, executed by mini-league snipers, after which Anderson hit the hatches.
Strictly speaking, this is Anderson’s first hockey game in 48 days. He was fine.
Anderson moved enough and stretched his legs between the whistles.
These are baby steps.
“Fred is the eye to come back here and run, we need to take one step at a time,” Sheldon Keefe, the leaves’ coach, said Thursday morning. “The first step in that process is to increase his workload. He’s fine, he’s taken a lot of our practices, which has prepared him for the next stage. We have some time left, and we want to make sure we’re smart at that.”
Anderson only played half the game as planned, with Marlis pulling the ballcap and allowing two goals in 14 shots (.857 saving percentage) before giving Joseph Fold his folds.
Goalie Switches lost 2-1, Marlis lost 5-3 to Moose.
The club will soon reconsider his knee and decide the next step for Anderson. Theoretically, he could make two more AHL appearances this time around. He can also squeeze in a bunch of leaves starting next week.
Anderson says this rehabilitation work is all about helping the post-season of the leaves, not showing itself for the free company coming up in July.
“Not really, because I know what I’m worth. I know I’m a great goalie,” said the 31-year-old Anderson. “The biggest part of what we’re doing here on the team is going on. I think we have special opportunities here to do something special this year. I think the team we have is amazing, they have done a lot of hard work and it is rolling well.
“The biggest motivation for me is to be a part of it. I want to contribute to it, I want to be with the team.”
Toronto’s playoff starter or backup has not yet been confirmed, although swiping the net from dialed Jack Campbell (15-2-2) felt like reaching out on Thursday.
“As for the playoffs or anything like that, I don’t have to make that decision today. I don’t have all the information,” Keefe said.
“Fred goes back and I’m not going to release it or make any statement except to say that Jack Campbell is playing very well. His confidence is growing, and our team’s confidence in him is growing.
“I believe we have to make tough decisions when the time comes, because one thing is really, very clear, the strength and depth of our goals have grown significantly over the last few months, and I look forward to making tough decisions.”
The onus is on Anderson to make that decision difficult.