The Play of Joseph Woll
A year ago at this time, Joseph Woll was an afterthought when considering the Leafs goaltending. Midseason injuries allowed him an opportunity.
He looked unencumbered by it all, so much so, that when pressed into action in the Stanley Cup playoffs he became a prominent part of the Leafs plans in net.
The Leafs entrenched him as their backup before the season started, knowing he would be claimed by another NHL team should he be exposed on waivers.
While many considered the possibility that he could eventually become the Leafs number one goaltender, the timeline has arrived earlier than planned.
Woll finds himself among the league leaders in many advanced stats categories. His combined numbers compute to being the 4th ranked goalie league-wide.
He backstopped the Leafs to two victories over the Lightning and Capitals.
His 29 saves on 29 shots against the Lightning allowed the Leafs the opportunity to come back.
He was responsible for stealing two points against the Capitals, stopping 36 of 37 shots, highlighted by thwarting Alex Ovechkin on a penalty shot. He also stopped twelve other Ovechkin shots.
Woll’s play has many followers of the Leafs calling for him to be anointed the starter. Whether he gets the official number one tag, at the very least, he has earned more playing time.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have many early-season issues to address before they can be taken as a serious championship caliber team, but there are many positive signs in their quest to make it happen.