Toronto – Jack Campbell has his own place in the record book of Toronto maple leaves.
The Red-Hot Goldilocks became the first man to stop 32 shots during a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadians on Wednesday, beating the team that won the top 10 in 10 consecutive starts in owner history.
Campbell surpassed John Rose Roche (1925), Jack Plant (1970-71) and Felix Botwin (1993-94), all of whom won nine games per leaf.
The Hubs threw everything at Campbell in the second period of the 17-shot, in which Jonathan Drew broke away in the final minute. In the third period, DJ Brody scored his first goal of the game with a goal of 1-1 to help Zack Hyman defend the record before adding an insurance marker.
“Playing here is incredible. It’s a great honor,” Campbell said. “It’s a dream come true. I try to soak as much as I can.”
Campbell has been a major reason for the leaves to go 8-0-1 since Frederick Anderson went down with a minor injury last month. In the process, they extended their Northern Division lead by seven points over the Edmonton Oilers, who are now third in the NHL overall with .713 points – behind only the Colorado Avalanche (.737) and Hurricane Carolina (.724).
Campbell is a former 11th overall NHL draft selector who found himself in the ECHL five years ago. But the 29-year-old began rebuilding himself with the Los Angeles Kings organization, taking it to a different level since coming to Toronto in a seasonal trade last February.
“He’s a guy, he’s got a lot of energy about him, he’s always had a bounce on his step,” said Sheldon Keefe, the leaves’ coach. “He works his way out of the ice every day, out of the ice. He’s a guy, players like to be around.”
He last suffered a loss on March 6, 2020.
With every start he has made this season Campbell has been coming off a winning end, sanding around two lengths he has been sidelined by an injury to his left leg. He was piled on the ice by an exciting team following a thrilling end to Wednesday’s game.
“It’s so awesome,” Campbell said. “I’m lost for words now.”
Kieff added: “The guys really gathered when there was soup. There is always a lot of positive energy around him whether he plays or not. I think that’s part of it. ”
Aston Mathews opened the scoring with his league-leading 28th goal for Toronto, while Corey Perry had two goals in response to the Canadians.