The Toronto Maple Leafs did not end 2023 the way they had hoped. With a record of 5-4-4, the Leafs will be glad that December is over.
The Toronto Maple Leafs ended the month of December on a three-game losing streak and only one win in their final six games of the month. They still hold a decent spot in the standings, but that won't last long if something doesn't change.
December went from bad to worse for the Leafs, as the team's final transaction of 2023 was to place goaltender Ilya Samsonov on waivers. The Samsonov that fans remember from last season is nowhere to be found this season. He has appeared in 15 games this season and has a 5-2-6 record. His 3.94 GAA and .862 SV% are well below his career average.
For now, the Leafs will hope to continue getting decent starts from Martin Jones until Joseph Woll returns from injured reserve. Until Woll returns, the Leafs will need to call up Dennis Hildeby from the Toronto Marlies to act as the backup for Jones. Not the tandem the Leafs thought they'd be starting 2024 with, but it is what it is.
The Toronto Maple Leafs start 2024 on the road hoping to bounce back
Here's a look at the Leafs January schedule and what awaits them at the beginning of 2024.
The new year will start with a California road trip for the Toronto Maple Leafs. On January 2nd, the Leafs will play the Los Angeles Kings. The next night, on January 3rd, the Leafs will be in Anaheim to play the Ducks. They end the road trip with a game against the Sharks in San Jose on January 6th.
The Leafs will return home on January 9th to host the San Jose Sharks before going on the road for a game against the New York Islanders on January 11th. Next is another set of back-to-back games on January 13th against the Colorado Avalanche and January 14th against the Detroit Red Wings.
A second West Coast road trip will start on January 16th against the Edmonton Oilers. The Leafs will then play the Calgary Flames on January 18th, the Vancouver Canucks on January 20th, and the Seattle Kraken on January 21st.
The Leafs will then return home to play a home-and-home series against the Winnipeg Jets. First, the Jets will be in Toronto to play the Leafs on January 24th, and then the Leafs will visit Winnipeg on January 27th to end the month. The Leafs won't play again after that until February 5th.