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Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen shapes up for season

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen makes a blocker save during NHL hockey training camp in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) Goaltender Frederik Andersen has arrived at Maple Leafs training camp leaner than the past, crediting change to his workout regimen and a commitment to analyzing his diet.

"I feel more fit and I feel like I have a better build," Andersen said.

Last year was the busiest season of Andersen's NHL career. Acquired via trade from the Anaheim Ducks and signed to a five-year, $25 million contract, he appeared in a career-high 66 regular-season games and posted a 33-16-14 record, a .918 save percentage, and four shutouts. He struggled early, allowing 26 goals in his first seven games and posted just a .876 save percentage in October.

Looking back on it, Andersen recalls gaining weight at infrequent times. He consulted with trainer Scot Prohaska.

"I asked him: `How many calories does your body require to stay lean and healthy and fuel your workouts and recovery while maintaining a healthy metabolism?'" Prohaska told The Canadian Press. Andersen didn't have an answer.

"This time it wasn't bad habits, it was just a lack of knowledge," Prohaska said.

After a 26-page analysis of his bloodwork, Andersen was able to learn what he was lacking in his system. But he also figured out exactly how to fuel his body with the exact amount of calories and proteins.

"You divide them up in different percentages of your full diet and you just monitor your diet a little bit closer," Andersen said. "Eating more protein to get the desired results is what I wanted and what I had to do that to see the change I wanted to this season."

When Andersen showed up to training camp last week, the results of his physical impressed coach Mike Babcock.

"With what Freddy has done from a fitness level is through the roof compared to last year," Babcock said. "When you earn the right to feel good about yourself by doing all the work in the offseason, this stuff is way easier so good on him."

This season, Andersen is expected to start in as many as 68 games barring injuries. His backup, Curtis McElhinney, was re-signed by the Leafs on July 1 to a two-year, $1.7-million contract and is projected to start in 14 games, when Toronto plays on consecutive nights.

With expectations higher after a better-than-expected 2016-17 season in Toronto, a healthy Andersen has prepared himself.

"I leaned up a little bit and everything (in my game) comes from that," Andersen said. "You get faster, you're conditioning gets better and the by-product of that is that you can feel like you are at the top of your game for longer."

Updated September 19, 2017

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