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Linus Ullmark provides scouting report on Auston Matthews, Joseph Woll and the Leafs

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Photo credit:Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
1 month ago
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Auston Matthews is considered by many as the best-goal scorer alive, a contention we’re not planning on arguing anytime soon. There’s a different level of validation that comes with the recognition from a Vezina-winning divisional rival.
Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark joined Nick Alberga and Carter Hutton on Friday’s edition of Leafs Morning Take in an exclusive interview, where the 30-year-old provided an honest, candid scouting report of the Maple Leafs’ superstar and the team in a broader sense.
“It’s different because he is a sniper but at the same time, he’s so well-placed,” Ullmark explained. “It’s not like he always shoots bar down or always puts it above the pad or anything like that, but he always takes the time to shoot it at the right moment and once it’s actually not there, he makes the pass. So it’s not just about that but most of the time when you see him taking a step further back or taking a step forward, he’s presenting himself in a good opportunity to score. While other people may drift out of the scoring area, he’ll find an area where he’s so good at putting the puck inside the net.”
Ullmark was on the trade block this season and though he still has a year left on his contract, it’s possible the Bruins move him this summer with Jeremy Swayman operating as their No. 1 throughout the playoffs. During the show, Ullmark gave his honest opinion about the Maple Leafs as a potential trade destination.
“Toronto is obviously a contender to the Bruins. I’ve played for Buffalo, I’ve played across the border. There are some emotions there. And then you have the Bruins and the emotions and history that goes behind that. You can never say never, there are certain things you can’t control in this life and you never know where you’re going to go sometimes. I love playing against them and as of right now, I’d still love to play against them as a Bruin.”

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Ullmark signed a four-year, $20-million deal with the Bruins in July 2021, a contract that some believed to be speculative but he’s outperformed even the most optimistic expectations. Given his pedigree, Ullmark’s ensuing endorsement of Joseph Woll could reverberate around the league, along with an apparent parting shot at Ilya Samsonov, who is a pending free agent.
“I was surprised that they kept (Ilya) Samsonov for that many games against us in the playoffs,” Ullmark said. “I felt like when we played the Leafs, when (Woll) was in net, it felt like it was more of a challenge. Even though I’m not a player, just watching him, it looked so much more like he was in control of the situations that were thrown at him.
“As a goalie obviously and I think players as well, they feed off these things. If you see a guy that might be flopping around too much and leaving out crazy rebounds and feeling you always have to struggle with it, then you’re going to get a little more on edge, compared to a goaltender who can contain the pucks or put them in an area where they’re not a threat. And like every young goaltender these days, he’s so technically sound. The only thing that might stop him might be the mental game. And that doesn’t happen overnight, it all comes down from experiences.
“The guy has gone a long way in a short amount of time and I think he looks terrific! That’s my honest opinion, he looks like a really good goaltender! So it’s going to be interesting to see what the Leafs are going to do this summer. I have the same questions: OK, are they going to keep him and just go with him and someone else? Are they going to keep him to 30 games, 25 games, take it slow? It’s going to be interesting to say the least.”
Ullmark still has a year left on his contract and while the Bruins have a goaltending surplus, it doesn’t appear wise to squander their tremendous advantage over the rest of the league, who often find it difficult enough to find one genuine No. 1 goalie. We highly encourage you to check out the rest of the interview, where Ullmark expands about being on the trade block and more.
 

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