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Leafs make questionable call regarding tonight's starting goalie


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Ryan Smitheram
December 14, 2023  (12:23)
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Photo credit: NHL

As we all know, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be without goaltender Joseph Woll for a while as he recovers from a high ankle sprain suffered last Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. That means the Leafs will be depending on veteran Martin Jones and the struggling Ilya Samsonov to hold down the fort in the meantime. So far, the pairing has done very well, leading the Leafs to a 3-0-1 record since Woll's injury with Jones backstopping the team to a pair of wins against Ottawa and New York, with Samsonov posting a win and a loss against the Predators and Islanders, respectively.

Coming off of a back-to-back Monday and Tuesday in New York against the Islanders and Rangers, head coach Sheldon Keefe could have started either goalie tonight against Columbus. It appears that Keefe made his decision as Samsonov was seen doing his usual pre-game routine when he is scheduled to start.
This will be Samsonov's third start in four games since Woll went down with his ankle injury. Against the Nashville Predators Saturday, Samsonov looke like he had regained his form, posting a 4-0 shutout win, but during Monday's game against the Islanders, there were a couple of instances that looked more like the inconsistent goaltender we have seen much of this season.
Hopefully getting a start against what should be a weaker opponent and a couple of days off between games will allow Samsonov to finally get back into a comfortable rhythm as he projects to play more often than not until Woll returns. The 26-year-old has a 5-1-4 record through 12 games so far this season to go along with a 3.29 GAA and .884 save percentage.
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14 DECEMBRE   |   896 ANSWERS
Leafs make questionable call regarding tonight's starting goalie

With Martin Jones arguably playing better than Ilya Samsonov right now, should the Leafs give Jones more starts?

Yes, play the hotter hand77286.2 %
No, Sammy is the starter with Woll sidelined12413.8 %
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