Joseph Woll
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Leafs make unique decision with tonight's starting goalie to try to gain an edge

Published March 24, 2024 at 9:50

Last night, the Leafs took on a very game Edmonton Oilers team in the first half of a back-to-back and skated away with a 6-3 win on home ice. However, with Ilya Samsonov drawing the start, Joseph Woll was nowhere to be seen, leaving Martin Jones to dress as Samsonov's backup. As it turns out, there was a very good reason for that.

For the second time in as many weeks, Woll did not dress to backup Samsonov, despite being healthy. Many had assumed that Jones dressing had more to do with keeping him involved, and while that might be true to an extent, the reality is that the Leafs were thinking a little more strategically.

The Leafs' back-to-back this weekend includes travel, as they departed for Raleigh, North Carolina following last night's win in preparation of tonight's game against the Hurricanes. As it turns out, they sent Joseph Woll there a whole day in advance to avoid having him travel the night before a game.

The strategy is a good one for the Leafs, as goaltenders are creatures of habit. It's better to have them settled and calm the night before a game, rather than having to worry about travel and losing sleep ahead of a matchup against a tough opponent. It's a unique benefit to having 3 goalies on the roster. Normally, Woll would have had to dress last night as well, and sit on the bench all night. However, with Jones around as a more than capable backup, it opened the door for Woll to be able to travel ahead of time.

The Leafs suffered a disappointing 5-4 shootout loss to the Canes back on March 16th, despite owning a 3-0 lead and then a 4-2 lead late in the game. Hopefully their forward-thinking approach to getting Woll ready for the game will pay dividends and result in a victory for the Leafs in tonight's grudge match.
March 24   |   419 answers
Leafs make unique decision with tonight's starting goalie to try to gain an edge

The Leafs currently have 40 wins with 13 games remaining. How many wins do you think they'll finish the season with?

50+6415.3 %
45-4933479.7 %
Less than 45215 %
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