There is no doubt that the Toronto Maple Leafs season has been saved by Martin Jones.
Jones has played amazing - he allowed 2 goals in three games on the Toronto Maple Leafs recent west coast trip - and has taken a team that was teetering on the brink of disaster and calmed things down.
Jones has 2 shutouts, 7 wins, and a .930 save-percentage in 11 games this year (9 starts). Those are ELITE numbers.
And when Jones was called upon, the Leafs literally did not have an NHL goalie. Ilya Samsonov imploded, and Joseph Woll was injured. Jones saved the day.
Martin Jones Has Been Amazing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, But...
I think there are a few things that need to be considered when talking about the run Jones has gone on here.
For one, as the Leafs have repeatedly seen, literally any goalie (Korpisalo, Bobrovsky, Merzlikens) can get hot at any time, with insane results.
These are hard lessons the team has learned over the last eight years - they went 0-11 in elimination games, which is statistically ridiculous. More than any other reason, that happened because they kept randomly running into extremely hot goalies. The lesson the Leafs should learn from this is that htey can't be too comfortable with Jones.
As good as he's been, he is unlikely to last at this level, and the regression could be extremely hard. The guy hasn't been a good goalie for five years (he literally has not finished a season with above a .900 save percentage in a half-decade.
The Leafs were smart to come into the season with a low goalie cap hit, but the problem was that they came into it with a rookie goalie who has never played very many games in a single year, and who is injury prone. Their other goalie had just been demoralized in arbitration.
It's easy to say that Woll/Samsonov wasn't good enough to enter a season in which Matthews/Marner and Nylander are in their primes, especially with a highly questionable blue-line, but the low cap hit for the position and the upside of the Woll/Samsonov duo makes it a fair decision, but one that clearly didn't work out.
The NHL doesn't make it easy to have three reliable goalies, so Martin Jones - even the one we were expecting - was probably the best they could do without losing him on waivers. The problem, if you want to criticize them for it, was not having a more reliable option in their top two.
And while Jones has been absolutely amazing, the Leafs season easy could have come crashing down around him. They had lost five or six before their recent three wins in a row (and it's probably worth pointing out that those three wins came against two of the worst teams in the league, while the first game could easily. have been lost had Jones not played out-of-his-mind in the third period.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have flirted twice this season with a potentially season ruining-tailspin only to pull themselves out of it in unlikely ways (first, they came back from 4-1 vs Tampa to avoid losing their 5th in a row, and secondly, they went on a Martin Jones assisted 3 game win-streak after losing five of six).
This tells me that they can't sit back and rely on Jones from here on out. Who knows how Joseph Woll is going to be after coming back from a high ankle sprain and missing two months. The Leafs need a goalie.