Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll
Photo credit: NHL

Sheldon Keefe very transparent with how he plans to deploy Samsonov and Woll the rest of the way

Published March 24, 2024 at 10:32

For most of 2024, the net in Toronto has belonged to Ilya Samsonov, and rightfully so. The 27-year-old netminder has been winning a lot of games for the Leafs, but there's still some concern over whether the team is not doing right by Joseph Woll, allowing him to sit so much before the playoffs. Thankfully, Keefe says he has a plan to get Woll more involved.

Sheldon Keefe spoke with the media following the morning skate on Saturday, and revealed that the team plans to divide the starts evenly between Samsonov and Woll the rest of the way, ensuring that both goalies get an even workload prior to the start of the playoffs.

Keefe told the media that the starts may not alternate, and that he may opt to start a guy in consecutive games and then do the same for the opposite netminder for the next two and so on. However, we can expect a more balanced approach to how starts are assigned from here on out.

This is good news for Joseph Woll, who has started just 4 games since returning from injury. Woll is slated to start tonight against Carolina, but coming in on the 2nd half of a back-to-back is never easy. Still, when he's rolling, Woll has shown the ability to steal games and while everyone, I'm sure, is putting their money on Carolina tonight after having the day off yesterday, we shouldn't count the Leafs out, coming off of a big win over Edmonton last night.

The Leafs' bench boss was less clear on how he planned to deploy Martin Jones as we approach the end of the season. While he did see some action in the 3rd period last night after Samsonov was injured, stopping all 5 shots he faced, Jones hasn't played a full game since February 22nd against the Vegas Golden Knights. As the 3rd string goalie, I'm not sure we should count too much on Jones starting any games from now until the end of the season, but he may very well dress as a backup for a few games, just to give Sammy or Woll the occasional night off to take some extra rest. Of course, we also may see Jones play a game or two at the very end of the year, once the Leafs have officially clinched a playoff spot.

March 24   |   326 answers
Sheldon Keefe very transparent with how he plans to deploy Samsonov and Woll the rest of the way

Do you agree with Sheldon Keefe's plans for Samsonov and Woll the rest of the way?

Yes, that's how it should be19158.6 %
No, just ride the hot hand6820.9 %
Ask me again in 2 weeks6720.6 %
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