Joseph Woll on the ice for his first full practice since December
Photo credit: Mark Masters

Huge development coming out of Maple Leafs' practice on Monday

Published February 12, 2024 at 1:05 PM
BY BEN HODGSON
To say that this season has been chaotic between the pipes for the Leafs would be an understatement. It began with Ilya Samsonov coming down with the worst case of the yips in recent memory. He was quickly usurped by Joseph Woll, still considered to be a rookie netminder. Woll was outstanding until he was sidelined by a high ankle sprain. At that point, the Leafs had no choice but to run with Martin Jones for 18 games.

Once Jones began to slow down, averaging 4 goals per game over a 5-game span (allowing 4 more against Ottawa on Saturday), the Leafs turned back to Samsonov, who, surprisingly, returned strong, but has faltered over his past few starts. The Leafs need Joseph Woll back, and it looks like they may get their wish very soon.

Today, Woll was a full participant in practice for the first time since his injury. He occupied the backup's net, taking the place of Martin Jones, who took on some work with the Leafs' goalie coaches before practice. This is a major step towards returning to game action for the Leafs' best goaltender this season. With the Leafs currently sitting in a wild card spot, Woll's return couldn't come a moment too soon.

A fitting return would be a week from today, when the Leafs travel to Woll's hometown of St Louis to take on the Blues. Before that can happen, though, Woll will need to show that he is healthy enough to go. Today's practice is a step forward, but he's not all the way back just yet. Here's hoping the next update provides more clarity and perhaps even the announcement regarding his first start since early-December.


POLL
12 February   |   672 answers
Huge development coming out of Maple Leafs' practice on Monday

Who should start Game 1 of the playoffs for the Leafs?

Woll39759.1 %
Samsonov18327.2 %
Jones9213.7 %
Whoever is playing best at the time00 %
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