Martin Jones looks to stay hot against San Jose
Photo credit: NHL

Leafs name starting goalie for Tuesday's grudge match against the Sharks

Published January 8, 2024 at 6:49 PM
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a very successful California swing last week as they swept their three-game road trip while only giving up two goals. Goaltender Martin Jones played in all three of the Leafs games, even though Leaf fans desperately wanted to see what rookie Dennis Hildeby could do with some NHL ice time. As it turns out, rolling Jones in all 3 contests in California was the right call as he shutout the high-flying LA Kings to begin the trip and went on to stop 50 of 52 shots against the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks to sweep their Pacific division foes.

After a day off yesterday, the Leafs returned to the rink for practice today on the heels of William Nylander signing his expensive 8-year extension. While all the talk following practice was about his extension, head coach Sheldon Keefe did manage to sneak in some information about who would be playing tomorrow night in the crease. Keefe confirmed that Jones would start for the fifth consecutive game as the Leafs will look to win their fourth straight.

Jones has done a very admirable job since jumping into action when Joseph Woll went down with an ankle injury December 9th in Ottawa and since Ilya Samsonov was sent down to the AHL's Toronto Marlies. In 11 games with the Leafs so far this season, Jones is 7-3-0 with 2 shutouts and has a ridiculous .932 save percentage and 2.08 GAA.

While fans are still clamoring for a look at Dennis Hildeby in an NHL net, they'll have to wait, as Keefe and the coaching staff are riding the hot hand in Jones. The experience is a good thing for Hildeby, though, even if he's not actually playing in any games. It gives him a glimpse of what NHL life is like and will better prepare him for the expectations he'll face at the next level.


In the meantime, though, Keefe has established that this is absolutely Martin Jones' net right now and likely will be until Joseph Woll makes his triumphant return.

POLL
January 8   |   1161 answers
Leafs name starting goalie for Tuesday's grudge match against the Sharks

How many total games do you think Martin Jones will play for the Leafs this season?

10 or less363.1 %
11-1513912 %
16-2039834.3 %
More than 2058850.6 %
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