Jack Campbell poured his heart into the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 29-year-old American netminder was emotional in his post-game Zoom call after the Maple Leafs lost Game 7 to the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Monday evening. The Leafs blew a 3-1 lead in the series. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2004.
Campbell really took the loss personally. He played well in the series, but surrendered a soft goal to Brendan Gallagher in Game 7 to open the scoring. Campbell felt like he let the team down and became emotional after the loss.
“Worst goal of my career and it happened in Game 7,” said Campbell. “I think the team counts on me to be better and I know I can be a lot better than that.”
When asked specifically about what happened on the goal by Gallagher, Campbell said, “It should be an automatic save. No excuses. Unacceptable. I just feel so bad that the guys worked so hard and it happened tonight.”
Mitch Marner went to bat for Campbell in his post-game, which was also emotional. “Soup‘s really the reason we were where we were”, said Marner. “Nobody’s blaming Soupy at all.”
Campbell allowed two goals on 22 shots in Game 7, but the Leafs only mustered one goal themselves. William Nylander made it a 3-1 game in the final two minutes when he beat goalie Carey Price with a wrist shot.
Campbell wasn’t the reason the Leafs suffered another shocking playoff exit, but he was outdueled by the man in the crease at the other end. Price stopped 29 of 30 shots Monday to help the Habs win a third straight game. Price is now 3-1 all-time in Game 7’s.
Campbell had a stellar .937 save percentage entering Game 7. The first-round playoff series was his first-ever NHL postseason appearance.
You have to feel for Campbell, who went on a franchise-record 11-game winning streak to begin his Maple Leafs’ career. The former LA Kings’ goalie took over in the Toronto crease when veteran starter Freddie Andersen went down with injury.
Hopefully brighter days are ahead for the heart-and-soul goaltender.