The Toronto Maple Leafs All But Declare Joseph Woll as Playoff Starter

Mar 4, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll (60) makes a save
Mar 4, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll (60) makes a save / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs will start Joseph Woll against the Washington Capitals tonight, all but declaring that he is their choice to start in the playoffs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs last played on Tuesday and Sunday, and Joseph Woll started both games. The fact that he's starting his third game in a row shows what the Leafs intentions are for the playoffs.

Now, he still has to play well to earn it, but it's clear who the Leafs prefer. And if you don't believe me, consider that Woll started both recent games against the Boston Bruins.

Sure, he hasn't been that great since he came back, but a high-ankle sprain is a hard injury for a goalie to recover from, and it's clear he's more talented and stronger mentally than Ilya Samsonov. Yes, Samsonov has a good win/loss record lately, but he's putting up a lot of wins where he allows three goals and the team in front of him scores four or six.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Washington: Auston Matthews Game Time Decision

The Leafs injury list is getting a little out of control.

Mitch Marner and Calle Jarkrok both remain out of the lineup, and Morgan Rielly missed the last game and won't play tonight. Marner is skating and should play soon, although it won't be tonight. Jarkrok is on the long-term injured reserve so can't play until after the first week of April at the earliest.

On top of all the pre-existing injuries, Auston Matthews is sick and will be a game-time decision. That means he probably won't be able to score his 60th goal of the year and it will make scoring 70 something of a longshot, if it's not already.

With Matthews, Rielly and Marner on the sidelines, the Leafs roster would be extremely light, but they will still be expected to beat the Capitals either way.

The Capitals will be playing ex-Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin who was moved last year in a surprise trade at the deadline.

I wasn't a fan of that trade then, although getting Easton Cowen with the pick does seem to make it a lot better.

The Leafs played horribly in the last two periods of their last game and where called out by their coach. Tonight is the perfect game to respond since they'll be without most of their stars.


The Leafs will be going with Joseph Woll for the third game in a row, all but publicly declaring their playoff goalie.