Sparks -- on hand with Michael Hutchinson away for personal reasons -- will accompany the team in traveling to Boston ahead of Game 1 against the Bruins on Thursday, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports. Sparks practiced Wednesday and is shaping up to be the primary backup behind Frederik Andersen for the playoff opener. Of course, insurance netminders don't hold much weight in fantasy playoff formats, so we'd only consider using a spot on Sparks if he ends up sustaining an injury or encounters a related issue.
Sparks, who had been away from the team in order to work with goalie coaches, joined the Maple Leafs for practice Wednesday on the eve of Game 1 against the Bruins, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports. Barring an injury, we don't expect the Maple Leafs to turn to any goalie other than Frederik Andersen in the postseason, but every team needs insurance in net, and Michael Hutchinson is currently away from the team due to personal reasons. Sparks has struggled mightily this calendar year, with the American backstop posting a 2-7-0 record 3.30 GAA and .899 save percentage over 10 games. He's been working extensively with the goalie coaches to refine his game, and a few dominos need to fall in order for him be a fantasy option for the postseason.
Sparks (coach's decision) won't be available and will spend the next 10 days with the goalie coaches, James Mirtle of The Athletic reports. Sparks' locker was cleaned out Friday morning in the wake of the Leafs recalling Michael Hutchinson from AHL Toronto, leaving many to speculate about the Leafs' goalie situation. The Illinois native has found himself in a slump to end the regular season -- in his last six appearances, Sparks went 1-4-0, giving up 17 goals while posting a 3.30 GAA and .902 save percentage. In Sparks' absence, Hutchinson will be the backup behind Frederik Andersen.
Sparks stopped 33 of 36 shots in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Hurricanes. The Buds' playoff fate is now sealed -- they'll head to Boston to open the first round of the playoffs. With nothing left to play for in the standings, and Frederik Andersen having carried a heavy workload this season, expect Sparks to get the nod in one of Toronto's remaining two games.
Sparks will start in goal Tuesday evening versus the visiting Hurricanes, Kristen Shilton of TSN.ca reports. Toronto's No. 2 netminder will scratch up the blue paint for the 20th time this season, fielding shots from a Carolina club with a tenuous grip on a wild-card spot within the Eastern Conference. Sparks will bring his 8-8-1 record, 3.15 GAA and .901 save percentage into the home clash against the league's most shot-happy team -- albeit one that only ranks 16th in the NHL in road scoring (2.79 GPG).
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||6||2||3||0||325||16||0||2.95||0||21.2|