Insider reveals Leafs' expected starting goalie for Game 5 in Boston

Ryan Smitheram
April 29, 2024  (12:05)

Joseph Woll is expected to start for the Leafs tomorrow night
Photo credit: USA Today Sports

TSN's Darren Dreger is projecting a change in goal for the Leafs in Game 5, suggesting that Joseph Woll may get his first start of the series over Ilya Samsonov.

To begin period three on Saturday night, Woll replaced Samsonov between the pipes for the Leafs. The move was made, according to Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, to inject some life into the lineup and hope to 'catch lightning in a bottle', so to speak.
While the Leafs did get one goal following the change, thanks to the underperforming Mitch Marner, they were unable to complete a comeback, falling to the Bruins 3-1 in the game and the series.
With the Leafs' playoff hopes hanging in the balance on Tuesday night, Darren Dreger was on TSN1050's 'First Up' this morning and explained why he believes Woll will get the nod over Samsonov.
"I'd be surprised (if Samsonov starts Game 5). You can't hang where the Leafs are in the series on Samsonov, I don't think. It was a coaching tactic [making the third period change on Saturday], trying to inject some sort of spark in that final frame so he puts Joe Woll in there. I think now that you've made that play, why wouldn't you give Woll another opportunity to find lightning in a bottle and keep the series alive?"

It's not the first time that Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe would choose to go to with Woll in a series deciding game as he did the same thing last post-season in Games 4 and 5 against the Florida Panthers.
Woll stopped all five shots he faced in the third Saturday night, so perhaps coming in and putting up a solid effort in relief of Samsonov will be a good building block for Woll.
While the rookie netminder's numbers this season left a lot to be desired following his comeback from a high ankle sprain, many viewed him, at the start of the year, as the future number one netminder in Toronto. A big win against Boston on Tuesday could go a long way in helping both he and his teammates to build some momentum and gain some confidence.
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Insider reveals Leafs' expected starting goalie for Game 5 in Boston

Would you start Joseph Woll or Ilya Samsonov in Game 5 if you were Sheldon Keefe?

Woll63587.2 %
Samsonov9312.8 %
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