Sheldon Keefe responds to media question about Game 5 starting goalie

Ryan Smitheram
April 28, 2024  (9:19)

Joseph Woll may end up starting Game 5 for the Leafs Tuesday night in Boston
Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Following a disappointing Game 4 loss, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe addresses goaltending situation, reveals why he pulled Samsonov for the 3rd period.

With the Leafs down 3-0 at the end of the second period in last night's Game 4, the game was all but over even before the final frame. As the third period started, it appeared that Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe had the same thought as Ilya Samsonov took a seat on the bench and Joseph Woll led the team onto the ice.
It's not as though Samsonov was playing as poorly as his .824 save percentage suggested last night, but it is similar to last year against the Florida Panthers when Woll took over for Samsonov. When that happened last year, the Leafs later revealed that Samsonov had an injury and given that he has not looked great since Game 2, many speculated the same.
Post-game, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was asked why he chose to put Woll in for the third and who would start Game 5.
"The reason for it is we're just trying to change things. You get to get Joe involved. That's really it. You're trying to change the momentum.

As for what we'll do going forward, we've got some time here to talk it through."

Although Keefe was non-committal to a starter for Game 5, it would be less surprising to see Woll start given Keefe's comments about changing things up. Woll stopped all five shots he faced in the third and in five career playoff games Woll has a 2.42 GAA and .957 save percentage.
Woll has struggled to find his form since returning from his high ankle sprain earlier this season, but prior to that, he was the more calming presence between the pipes for the Leafs.
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Sheldon Keefe responds to media question about Game 5 starting goalie

Who should start Game 5 for the Maple Leafs?

Samsonov16717.1 %
Woll73575.2 %
Jones767.8 %
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