Joseph Woll plays a puck behind the Leafs' net
Photo credit: NHL

Huge development coming out of the Leafs' morning skate on Monday

Published February 5, 2024 at 10:56
BY MIKE ARMENTI

It would appear as though the Leafs are looking to get things off on the right foot in the second half of the season, following up this weekend's All-Star break with a very well-attended morning skate, which also featured all 3 Leafs netminders:


Typically, in the first half of the season, the morning skates on game days usually consisted of very few players and sometimes only the goaltender who will be in the backup role taking to the ice. Now, with what appears to be a very large turnout to the optional skate, would it be reading into things too much to suggest that the Leafs finally get it?

Perhaps this is simply just a case of trying to shake off some bye week rust and get back into the swing of things before tonight's matchup with the New York Islanders, but I do see it as a nice change of pace to see most of the team taking part in game day activities, rather than just the 5 or 6 players who usally show up.


Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Joseph Woll is back on the ice with the team following a lengthy layoff due to a high-ankle sprain. Sheldon Keefe has already cautioned that Woll is still a ways away from returning, but just the fact that he's finally back on the ice with the main group is very encouraging.

Woll has not played since December 7th, but had posted a .914 SV% or better through 4 of his last 5 games prior to going down with an injury. Woll is 15-8-0 with a 2.80 GAA and .916 SV% in this, his rookie season.

According to a report that had come out shortly before the All-Star break, the plan appears to be for the Leafs to roll with 3 goaltenders the rest of the way to avoid losing someone on waivers, so it will be interesting to see how the team splits up the starts as we progress through the final couple of months of the season.

The Leafs currently hold down the top Wild Card spot in the East, sitting behind Tampa, Florida and Boston in the Atlantic Division standings. They've got some work to do if they want to enter the playoffs with home ice advantage again this season. They're currently just 1 point behind Tampa and 8 points behind Florida, with games in hand on both clubs. It is going to take some real effort to catch Florida at this point, especially when the Leafs have the toughest remaining schedule of any NHL team. It's nice to see, via this well-attended morning skate, that the team is taking the second half very seriously.
POLL
February 5   |   1177 answers
Huge development coming out of the Leafs' morning skate on Monday

How many starts will Martin Jones get between now and the playoffs with Joseph Woll coming back?

He'll be lucky to get 5 more starts63754.1 %
He'll get 6-10 more starts42335.9 %
He'll get more than 10 starts1179.9 %
Another injury will lead to a lot of playing time00 %
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