Many Reasons to Love This Edition of the Toronto Maple Leafs Despite Their Flaws

Despite their inconsistencies and, at times, infuriating play, the Leafs have had many feel-good stories throughout the year that make them a likable team to cheer for. Examples of resilience and grit can be found everywhere, which hasn't always been the case with this team.

St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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Samsonov and Woll Have Overcome Adversity

The Leafs goalies have also overcome their fair share of adversity.

Ilya Samsonov struggled so much early in the year, that some wondered if he had played his last game in a Leafs uniform. He was demoted to the Toronto Marlies to regroup.

Since his return, he has outperformed Joseph Woll, who had overtaken him as the Leafs top goalie earlier in the year. Samsonov has spent most of the year among the league leaders in points percentage for goalies.

Woll has dealt with injury issues, an ongoing concern throughout his career. After taking the job as the Leafs number-one goaltender his season was temporarily derailed by a high-ankle sprain.

Once he returned from the injury his play was subpar. Yet, two of his most recent appearances have been encouraging. He was stellar in a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, making 40-plus saves.

Then, after getting called out by head coach Sheldon Keefe in a loss to the New Jersey Devils, he rebounded with a solid performance in the victory over the Capitals.

The Leafs defensive numbers are not impressive, but their goaltenders and defense have both handled adversity with aplomb this season. That will be beneficial once the playoffs begin.