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Maple Leafs’ Campbell will get another rest on Friday as Woll gets start against Sharks


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Soup is being put on simmer.

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Jack Campbell, who has been emerging as a star in the Maple Leafs net, will watch on Friday night in San Jose against the Sharks.

Joseph Woll will get the start for the third time in the National Hockey League as the Leafs strive for their 13th win in 15 games and sixth victory in a row on the road.

Woll is coming off a 20-save shutout against the New York Islanders on Sunday, a game in which he was calm and measured, and deserving of the zero in the goals-against column at the end of the night.

In his 17 games, Campbell has established himself as one of the top goalies in the National Hockey League in 2021-22. He has put himself in serious contention to be named to the United States Olympic team, but the Leafs have also been careful about managing his workload.

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Campbell didn’t practise on Thursday at the SAP Center in San Jose, a day after he made 30 saves in a 6-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings. Campbell is tabbed to be in net on Sunday when the Leafs play the Ducks in Anaheim to end their three-game swing through California.

Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe acknowledged that balancing Campbell’s terrific play, including an NHL-best .943 save percentage among goalies who have played in at least six games, with rest does not come easily.

“It’s a challenge,” Keefe said. “I don’t know that there is any real threshold that you say is too much or the right amount, but it’s knowing that you do have to give him time (off).

“That’s just the fair thing to do and the smart thing to do, knowing how long the season is. Jack is in a really good place in terms of how he is managing his body and how the medical team is working with him.”

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That Campbell will sit on a night that is not the second game of a back-to-back set also speaks, to an extent, of the Leafs’ confidence in Woll. In two games, the 23-year-old has been proven to be more than competent.

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LINEUP UPDATES

David Kampf was at his regular spot at centre on the third line at practice after he played just 10 seconds against the Kings.

Kampf was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons after he took a hit to the head from Los Angeles forward Rasmus Kupari and fell awkwardly to the ice.

“It was a good day for him, so we will see how he is (Friday) when he wakes up and comes to the rink,” Keefe said. “Call it a game-time decision, I guess, but it was a very positive day for him.”

Ondrej Kase didn’t practise. Kase’s physical approach to every shift has taken a toll on his body, Keefe implied, and though he called it a maintenance day for the winger, he said the team would have a better idea of Kase’s status on Friday.

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With Kase out, Wayne Simmonds was on the line with Kampf and Nick Ritchie. On the fourth line, Kirill Semyonov centred Pierre Engvall and Jason Spezza.

RALLYING FOR RITCHIE

Ritchie managed to play the first quarter of the season without scoring a goal, and his teammates would love nothing more than to see the big winger finally bury a chance.

In the first 21 games, Ritchie had three assists and 34 shots on goal.

He provided a perfect screen on a goal by Spezza in Los Angeles, a move that became a talking point among teammates.

“I think it shows his teammates care about him and they appreciate who he is, he brings value to us,” Keefe said. “You can just imagine what he might be going through mentally (without scoring). I think he has handled it really well.

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“We have been winning a lot of games, so that has helped some of the pressure be reduced from Nick.

“Our team doesn’t necessarily need him to score, we would like him to score and he is capable of it. I believe strongly once he does score, it’s going to open up for him. He is a guy who has the capability to score big goals for us at big times, and I think that’s going to come.”

Ritchie, who had a career-high 15 goals in 56 games for the Boston Bruins last season but was not given a qualifying offer, doesn’t seem overly bothered.

“We’re winning a lot of hockey games and that’s the focus right now,” Ritchie said. “If I get a goal, that would be nice. Winning is more important.”

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LOOSE LEAFS

The Leafs were to going to celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving with a team dinner at their hotel on Thursday … Keefe said he will use the same defence group against the Sharks, meaning Travis Dermott will sit for the fourth game in a row. “He just has to find a way to stay sharp and stay ready,” Keefe said. “We believe having seven defencemen who can play is a strength for us at this point.”… Mitch Marner leads NHL forwards in takeaways with 25. Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Alex Pietrangelo leads all players with 32. Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin, meanwhile, has been charged with 27 giveaways, one fewer than Montreal Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry, who leads the NHL. Auston Matthews’ 34 missed shots are most in the NHL.

tkoshan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/koshtorontosun

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