Campbell: 'No excuses' for Maple Leafs this season

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Jack Campbell knows the Toronto Maple Leafs face enormous pressure in 2021-22, but he believes yet another first-round elimination this past spring is all the motivation they need.

"There's no doubt in the desire to win and the things we're willing to do and just how much we care as a group," the netminder said of his team on the "NHL@TheRink" podcast Wednesday.

He added: "We're with the fans. We want it so bad. There's no excuses. We're using it to fuel us, and I think you'll see that, and you'll see it this season with the way we come out this year."

After finishing first the realigned North Division last season, the Maple Leafs blew a 3-1 first-round series lead versus the underdog Montreal Canadiens. It was the fifth straight year in which Toronto failed to win a series, extending a streak of postseason futility dating back to 2004.

Campbell isn't the first member of the club to make such comments this offseason. Hart Trophy finalist Auston Matthews claimed in August that the Maple Leafs' stretch of playoff anguish will make an eventual win "that much better." General manager Kyle Dubas said in July he's "willing to bet everything" on the core he's built breaking through this season.

Campbell took over as Toronto's starter last season, going 17-3-2 with a .921 save percentage before posting a .934 clip in the playoffs. It was his best campaign as a pro - but it wasn't enough for him.

"Ultimately, I had some personal success," the 29-year-old said. "But honestly, winning in the playoffs, that's our goal."

The Maple Leafs begin their regular season on Oct. 13 versus the Canadiens.

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Campbell: 'No excuses' for Maple Leafs this season
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