The Toronto Maple Leafs season is in jeopardy after Joseph Woll suffered what appeared to be a serious injury Thursday night against Ottawa.
As per reports, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll will “miss some time” after he suffered an apparent leg injury in their 4-3 win against Ottawa. What “miss some time” actually means is unsure right now, but from what I saw, it didn’t look good.
This is all speculation, but Woll’s injury not only looked bad but it was bizarre, which made it even more concerning. It’s not like he was run into or had to make a post-to-post slide to make a save. Instead, it was a freak play involving a knuckle-pack that was sent from the corner.
In what should have been a routine play, Woll instead bobbled the puck and went down in serious pain. Like I said, I have no idea what the extent of the injury is, but Woll seemed to have extreme trouble putting any weight on his leg.
Did he break his leg? Did he suffer a groin pull or a high ankle sprain? We have no idea what it is yet, but Woll is prone to injury, so this should be scary news for Leafs fans.
Since 2014-15, Woll has not played more than 37 games in a season and as of December 7th, he’d already played 15 games, which is 60 percent of the team’s starts. At that rate, he was on pace for 49 starts this year, which would be a much more significant amount of starts he’d ever had.
Toronto Maple Leafs Season Is In Jeopardy
Thursday’s game was his fifth start in a row so maybe he wasn’t used to that much action but the Leafs need to be very cautious with Woll, if and when he returns this season.
For example, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to worry about a Woll injury. In March, 2022, Woll suffered a shoulder injury which kept him on the shelf for eight months and then during his rehab, he suffered an ankle injury which made him miss training camp that year.
Injuries have been a huge concern for Woll in the past, but we haven’t really noticed it at the NHL level yet, until now.
In 15 starts this year, Woll has arguably been the team’s MVP and has probably stolen four wins himself. Without his play, the Leafs wouldn’t be a playoff team right now and their defense would look even worse than what it is.
As a result, if Woll is out for a long-time and the Leafs don’t make significant changes to their blue-line, this team is doomed. Woll was the saving grace for the defensive structure of this roster, but without his stellar play every night, they now have to rely on Martin Jones and Ilya Samsonov.
They’re not the worst duo in the league, but they’re not going to provide the stability that Woll gave the team, so this roster better start scoring six goals per night if they have any chance of winning.