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Photo Credit: © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Hutch up, Kask down

I honestly wonder if an actual deck chair from the Titanic might be the best option as Freddie Andersen’s backup, but nevertheless, we’re seeing a bit of a shuffle today…

The story on both of these goalies is very similar, absolutely atrocious numbers in the NHL, and both have been lights out in the AHL. Essentially the Leafs are doomed to repeat Garret Sparks over and over again.

Leafs Marlies
GP SV% HDSV% GSAA GP SV%
Hutchinson 6 0.879 0.738 -4.73 3 0.942
Kaskisuo 1 0.842 0.636 -2.35 8 0.928

So what are the Leafs hoping for with this move?

Well, looking at this from a GM’s point of view, Kyle Dubas made the decision to go with Michael Hutchinson as his backup. Through rigid usage in unfavourable situations, Michael Hutchinson was absolutely decimated by his competition, and not supported by his teammates, who weren’t exactly putting forth their best effort under Mike Babcock.

Hutchinson took his demotion and went to work with Sheldon Keefe & company, and did everything right at the AHL level. He picked up 3 wins in three games, and is currently sitting on a .942 save percentage. He’s proven that he’s worth at least one final look at the NHL level before the Leafs officially decide to move on from him.

While this is still a longshot at the Leafs backup goaltending situation improving, it’s a move that makes sense, especially when it’s hard to imagine that any team in the league is going to help the Leafs out with a discount goaltender that can actually win games.

As for Kaskisuo…

I truly feel bad for the guy, as it would be a shame that his one and only NHL start is that horrific Pittsburgh game that basically was the tipping point in the Leafs situation to move on from Mike Babcock. I don’t think Kaskisuo was ever in serious consideration to be the long term backup, but it would be nice to see him pick up a win in the NHL someday, but the Leafs need to prioritize getting back into the playoff picture over feel good moments for their Marlies goaltender.

Kaskisuo will go back to doing what he does best, and that’s play pretty decent in the AHL and tandem with Joseph Woll.

Prediction…

The Leafs still need to find a backup goaltender.