TORONTO — Jack Campbell has his own place in the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ record book.
The red-hot goaltender stopped 32 shots during Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens to become the first man in franchise history to backstop the team to wins in 10 consecutive starts.
Campbell surpassed John Ross Roach (1925), Jacques Plante (1970-71) and Felix Potvin (1993-94), who all had nine-game winning streaks for the Leafs.
The Habs threw everything they had at Campbell during a 17-shot second period that included a Jonathan Drouin breakaway in the final minute. T.J. Brodie then broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period with his first goal as a member of the Leafs before Zach Hyman added an insurance marker to help secure the record.
“To play here is just incredible. It’s such a huge honour,” said Campbell. “It’s a dream come true and I’m just really trying to soak up as much as I can.”
Campbell is a major reason why the Leafs have gone 8-0-1 since Frederik Andersen went down with a lower-body injury last month. They’ve extended their North Division lead to seven points over the Edmonton Oilers in the process and now sit third overall in the NHL with a .713 points percentage — trailing only the Colorado Avalanche (.737) and Carolina Hurricanes (.724).
Campbell is a former 11th overall NHL draft pick who found himself in the ECHL five years ago. But the 29-year-old started to rebuild himself with the Los Angeles Kings organization and has taken it to another level since arriving in Toronto in a mid-season trade last February.
“He’s a guy who comes in, he’s got lots of energy about him, he’s got a bounce in his step all the time,” said Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe. “He works every single day to the maximum that he can, on the ice, off the ice. He’s a guy that the players love to be around.”
He last suffered a loss on March 6, 2020.
Campbell has been on the winning end of every start he’s made this season, sandwiched around two stretches where he was sidelined with a left leg injury. He was mobbed on the ice by excited teammates following a hectic finish to Wednesday’s game.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Campbell. “I’m lost for words right now.”
Added Keefe: “The guys have really rallied when Soup’s in there. There’s a lot of positive energy surrounding him all the time, whether he’s playing or not. I think that that’s part of it.”
Auston Matthews opened the scoring with his league-leading 28th goal for Toronto while Corey Perry had both goals in reply for the Canadiens.