Maple Leafs’ Jake Muzzin, Jack Campbell To Get Proper Profits For Los Angeles Since Trading To Toronto
EL SEGUNDO, Calif – As the Toronto Maple Leafs last make their annual pilgrimage to Southern California, the night is expected to see the return of the three former Kings.
They returned, but not in the way many had hoped.
Goalkeeper Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford had been acquired by the Leafs from the Los Angeles Kings just over a month earlier. Defender Jake Muzzin had been transferred to Toronto from the California club a year earlier.
All three were present on March 5, 2020, when the Leafs visited the kings, but two members did not attend. Campbell put on Frederik Andersen’s backup, even though he started with stops on his California trip in Anaheim and San Jose. Muzzin watches on from the press box after he broke his arm while blocking a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning guard Victor Hedman over a week ago
“I wish I was out there,” Muzzin recalls that night. “But receiving love from fans is something special.”
Clifford is the only player of the three in the game.
On Wednesday night, Campbell and Muzzin will play a game at the Satples Center for the first time since becoming the Maple Leafs. A limited COVID season for the Leafs to compete in a division made up of only Canadian competitors has taken away the usual trip to California in 2020-21.
“This is a strange situation, hurt and then COVID,” Muzzin said. “There’s definitely going to be some emotion going back in that barn. I obviously have some fond memories there.”
Muzzin won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014 and was the ‘Aces’ in the team’s 2012 run and never envisioned himself living anywhere other than Los Angeles.
He still has a home in California and his Stanley Cup rings from those runs are still there. Muzzin said he has yet to see those rings since the pandemic began but a trip to see them is still in his plans.
“I mean you’ve spent a lot of time here and I’ve grown as a pro here,” said Muzzin as he described seeing the LA scene on his way to the Toyota Performance Center for practice. “There are so many memories everywhere.”
Campbell got his first game against the Kings more than two weeks ago in Toronto when his team fell 5-1 to his former club. His former teammate, Jonathan Quick, made 33 saves in the win for Los Angeles.
“It’s only natural that you’re quite excited to be playing against your old team,” Campbell said. “I got rid of that in the last game.”
Muzzin became a regular mainstay in the team’s second set against Justin Holl while Campbell moved from a low-school in Los Angeles to start in Toronto.
Those will be the back emotions of Wednesday night, but there was another reunion when Clifford joined the Maple Leafs for practice on Tuesday.
Clifford, acquired in a deal with St. Louis Blues last week for future consideration, has been called up to serve as an additional player.
“It was just a good opportunity to reintroduce him to the group,” Keefe said of Clifford. “
The Leafs reported Clifford’s call as soon as he touched the ice and Joey Anderson left it. It was then sent down to the Marlies.
Currently wearing the number 43 shirt, Clifford has played a few games with the Marlies to get up to speed. The Leafs haven’t changed anything during practice so it’s unlikely that players will break the roster anytime soon.
But on Wednesday, Campbell, Muzzin and Clifford will return to the Staples Center in completely opposite roles from that night on March 5, 2020.
Mrazek joined some practice
Goalkeeper Petr Mrazek did some pre-training work and took pictures for the first training session in the main training session before getting ready for practice. It is his first time attending any of the team’s training sessions since he had to miss the game with a groin injury on November 7.
“Today was a good day to make sure he got back to work there,” Keefe said.
He continued to increase his workload and work with goalkeeping coach Steve Briere. The timing for Mrazek is unchanged as the scorer is expected to be out for a minimum of four weeks from 7 November.
Don’t tackle for lack of offense instead of good defense
The Maple Leafs have quickly become one of the better defensive teams in the NHL, conceding just 2.25 goals per game (3rd in the NHL).
Unfairly, the team struggled despite having the third-best Corsi in the league (53.69 per cent) while leading the league in expected goals (56.02 per cent).
Instead of just expecting a reversal from the mean, Keefe looked deeper into the opportunities the team was having.
https://thehockeynews.com/news/maple-leafs-muzzin-campbell-to-receive-proper-returns-to-la-since-trades-to-toronto Maple Leafs’ Jake Muzzin, Jack Campbell To Get Proper Profits For Los Angeles Since Trading To Toronto