Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Woll, Schenn, Keefe & Samsonov

On Tuesday night time, with a ton of gamers resting or out with accidents, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. It was a recreation that previewed their upcoming first-round playoff sequence. The spotlight of the sport was the standout efficiency by American Hockey League (AHL) call-up Joseph Woll, who made 46 saves for the Maple Leafs, together with a key cease on Nikita Kucherov within the last moments of the sport.

Toronto rested a number of key gamers, together with Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, and Mark Giordano. Still, they managed to realize the victory with objectives from Luke Schenn, Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan O’Reilly, and William Nylander. Nylander led the best way offensively and in addition contributed two assists.

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The win needed to be satisfying for the Maple Leafs, on condition that final season, Tampa Bay knocked them out of the playoffs within the first spherical after which went all the best way to the Stanley Cup Final for the third 12 months in a row. The groups will face one another once more in only a few days and, for what it’s price, Toronto ought to enter the sequence with some swagger. 

Item One: The Game Was Physical, Which Should Have Been Expected

Tuesday’s recreation was bodily, which is strictly what followers ought to count on within the playoffs. There have been a number of scrums, and a complete of 19 penalties have been handed out, together with 4 combating majors. Toronto’s Luke Schenn had a tussle with Pat Maroon.

Related: Ex-Maple Leafs Goalie Michael Hutchinson: Where’s He Now?

Schenn recommended after the sport that the physicality and emotion of the sport have been anticipated. He noted, “It was pretty physical. There was a lot of emotion in the game, which is kind of what you expect going into a playoff series when you know you’re going to meet that team next week.”

Item Two: GM Kyle Dubas Noted that Ilya Samsonov Won’t Play

Before the sport, Maple Leafs basic supervisor Kyle Dubas stated that goalie Ilya Samsonov was unlikely to play once more earlier than the playoffs. Samsonov began Monday’s recreation towards the Florida Panthers and performed effectively, however the crew wouldn’t have began him in the event that they’d had the selection; he performed as a result of the Maple Leafs felt obligated to make use of an everyday lineup due to the doable playoff ramifications.

Ilya Samsonov, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Dubas confirmed that the Maple Leafs’ different goalie, Matt Murray, has a concussion. He’s now missed 5 video games, however he’s making progress in his rehab.

Item Three: Woll Had an Amazing Game

Woll was recalled on an emergency foundation from the AHL Toronto Marlies and was instructed simply hours earlier than the sport that he would begin. After touring from Toronto, and regardless of the strain, Woll gained his fifth straight recreation after shedding his first recreation of the season towards the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Related: Joseph Woll Could Be Key to Maple Leafs’ Future

Woll had an excellent recreation. He made 46 saves on 49 pictures to assist the Maple Leafs acquire the win. The Lightning’s offense pressured, and Woll remained centered and composed. He made the type of key saves that helped preserve his crew within the lead. If this efficiency is a preview of what he can carry to high-pressure conditions, significantly throughout the playoffs, the Maple Leafs might need developed a key goalie.

In a post-game media scrum, head coach Sheldon Keefe noted that Woll’s efficiency had a optimistic impression on the crew as a complete. During the sport, the gamers have been motivated by his saves. He was, Keefe recommended, a confidence builder. Keefe additionally famous how a robust efficiency from a goalie can present an enormous morale increase for a crew and that Woll’s play had that impact. 

Joseph Woll Toronto Maple Leafs
Joseph Woll, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

So far, it appears the Maple Leafs have discovered a younger goalie who can reap the benefits of his alternatives and ship sturdy performances when referred to as upon. Despite his restricted NHL expertise, Woll has impressed this season together with his poise and focus.

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On the season, Woll’s report now sits at 5-1-0, with a goals-against-average of two.19 and a save proportion of .934. If he continues to carry out effectively, he may turn out to be an necessary a part of the crew’s plans transferring ahead.

What’s Next for the Maple Leafs? 

When requested what the sport confirmed him, Keefe stated he believed the crew was coming collectively as a bunch over the previous few weeks, and so they had put in a variety of actually good efforts lately, significantly within the final two video games. He admitted that these video games have been mentally powerful on the group. 

Keefe additionally famous that they may have simply mailed it in the remainder of the season. However, they got here collectively and located a option to win each video games. Keefe was significantly impressed with the crew’s character and togetherness. As a coach, he additionally appreciated that they competed onerous, blocked pictures, and bought large minutes out of gamers within the second recreation of a back-to-back on the street. 

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs
Sheldon Keefe, Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Overall, Keefe believes that the crew’s character as a bunch is basically sturdy. They can rally round no matter scenario they’re in and so they’re giving it their all. Now come the playoffs.

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