from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
It’s a mystery to many how the Maple Leafs will create a battle for the crease in this training time when the principal combatants are such happy campers.
Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek are unfailingly polite in social settings, in their media encounters and to each other. But now it’s time to cue the Odd Couple theme, as they can’t share the same net on game night.
“Between Petr and Jack, we have two guys who are confident, comfortable and easy going, yet serious and competitive,” coach Sheldon Keefe stated Wednesday, before Mrazek and the starters for the game group on Ottawa departed.
Mrazek has teased Campbell about their head-to-head competition in a round-robin game in the 2012 world juniors where the Czech Republic won 5-2. They also have different tastes in equipment, Mrazek alternates blue pads at home, white on the road, while Campbell works in one set. Otherwise, the two 29-year-olds, born just a month apart, have grown close through camp.
“We’ve hung out at the rink, a little away from the rink, and our girlfriends have got to know each other,” Campbell said. “It’s just a real fun relationship because we push each other so much. It clicks a lot, but at the end of the day, we just want to win and for this organization to be winners. I think it’s great what we’re both bringing.
“It’s only been one game together (a raft of early penalties Monday in Montreal made it a rough start for Campbell), but knowing (Mrazek’s) career, he flips that switch (at puck drop) and is super-competitive. I’m excited to keep building that. Whoever is in, I believe we give the team a chance to win every night.”