Martin Jones is making his case to stick around with the Maple Leafs

Photo credit:© David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
2 months ago
Martin Jones is all about first impressions and right now he’s doing whatever he can to impress Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe and GM Brad Treliving.
Jones, who signed a one-year deal in Toronto late in the offseason, was the Leafs best goaltender during the preseason and now in his first callup with the big club, has done everything he can to show he belongs. Jones looked stellar against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, stopping 38 shots for the shutout. He’s now 3-0-0 with the Leafs, along with 1.86 GAA and .949 Sv.%. As my colleague Nick Alberga puts it, it’s been a big week for the 33-year-old:
This isn’t the first time that Jones has shown well with a new team, it’s actually kind of his thing. His rookie season with the LA Kings, Jones started 8-0-0 and ended the season with a .934 Sv.%. When he went to the San Jose Sharks from there, 37 wins in his first year in the Shark Tank, along with a 2.27 GAA. After six seasons in San Jose, Jones made his way to Philadelphia and started his season 3-0-0. Then last season Jones was in a crowded crease in Seattle and started the season off winning 12 of his first 18 games. They say, you only get one first impression.

Maple Leafs Should Give Jones Some Run

With Joseph Woll on the sidelines for at least another couple of weeks and with Ilya Samsonov struggling to find his game, confidence or any oncoming pucks right now, coach Keefe should be giving the ball to Jones and letting him run as far as he can with it.
Having Jones absolutely shine for the Maple Leafs would mean some very interesting things could happen when Woll gets activated from the injured reserve. Jones is signed to just a $1 million deal for this season, if he does his part and makes Treliving keep him around, Samsonov is going to get traded or waived and it could potentially free up a substantial amount of cap space for the Leafs GM which would allow for him to add a top-four defenseman, maybe two.
Samsonov makes $3.5 million against the cap and is a pending unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Treliving could have signed him long-term during last summer and opted for just a one-year deal to give himself a chance to see first hand what the Russian netminder could bring to the table. Right now he’s at the kid’s table and Jones is telling all the funny stories to the adult table.
The Maple Leafs play the New York Rangers next, a team Jones has already beaten this season and expect to see the veteran netminder between the pipes once again. His confidence is sky high at the moment and his game is as quiet as ever. If he beats the Rangers, start him again next Friday against in the first of a back-to-back and let him continue the run.
Samsonov might want to start looking over his shoulder. Jones has taken his job and there could be some major changes on the way if things continue.
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