Martin Jones getting in some work at practice
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Sheldon Keefe makes a surprising comment about 3rd string netminder Martin Jones

Published January 1, 2024 at 12:01
BY MIKE ARMENTI

Despite all of the goaltending issues in Toronto this season, with the injury to Joseph Woll and the subpar play of Ilya Samsonov, the Leafs have actually received some quality goaltending from 3rd stringer Martin Jones, much to the delight and relief of Leafs Nation.

On Sunday, we finally saw some movement on the goaltending front, with Ilya Samsonov being waived by the Leafs in a surprising turn of events, and rookie standout Dennis Hildeby receiving a roster recall this morning and joining the Leafs for practice ahead of tomorrow's game against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Leafs have yet another back-to-back this week, with the Kings on the docket on Tuesday, followed by a Wednesday matchup with the Anaheim Ducks. Originally, it was thought that Hildeby could be in line for his first career NHL start against the Ducks, but some comments from Sheldon Keefe on Monday seem to indicate that we may not see Hildeby in an NHL net just yet, barring some unforeseen circumstances.

Following practice on Monday, Keefe told the media that he has not officially ruled out the idea of playing Jones in both Tuesday and Wednesday's games this week. The idea here, if this does occur, is that it would give Hildeby some time to become acclimated to his new surroundings and get some additional work in with goalie coach Curtis Sanford.


The hope in all of this is to have Samsonov work on his game for awhile in the American Hockey League and to have Jones and Hildeby bide the Leafs some time until starting goaltender Joseph Woll returns from his high-ankle sprain - though that may not occur until the last week of January and potentially even at the start of February. Of course, if Jones and Hildeby end up forming a formidable or even capable tandem, the Leafs will be able to take their time in allowing Woll and Samsonov to take their time in getting back to where they need to be before re-entering the lineup.

Jones is 4-3-0 for the Leafs this season with a 2.73 GAA and a surprisingly solid .915 SV%.

POLL
January 1   |   1103 answers
Sheldon Keefe makes a surprising comment about 3rd string netminder Martin Jones

Would you start Martin Jones in both games of the back-to-back this week?

Yes, Jones has been playing well37033.5 %
No, give one to Hildeby69863.3 %
Give both to Hildeby353.2 %
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