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Martin Jones looks to carry the workload for the Maple Leafs as they begin their California trip in LA

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Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
1 month ago
Quite a bit has happened between the Toronto Maple Leafs’ last game before the New Year, which was a 3-2 regulation loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, and today, when they begin their three-game California trip by taking on the Los Angeles Kings for the second and final time this season.
As many know, Joseph Woll has been sidelined with an injury for a bit now, and his return isn’t for another handful of weeks due to a high-ankle sprain. So, with a goalie tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Martin Jones, Toronto should be fine, right? Wrong. Samsonov has continued his struggles this season and was placed on waivers Sunday afternoon before clearing yesterday and being sent down to the AHL with the Toronto Marlies.
So, now you have Martin Jones, who you signed for goalie depth, and who else? Yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs PR account announced the club had called 22-year-old Dennis Hildeby up from the Toronto Marlies to join the big club on this road trip while Samsonov was sent down. Well before the call-up, I, like many others, had questions about the potential for a Hildeby call-up, given his age and having less than 20 games of experience in North America. Well, here we are, and the team needed a goalie, and the Jarfalla native is now with the big club after being drafted in the fourth round less than two years ago.
Although Dennis Hildeby has been called up, it is still Martin Jones’ net for the foreseeable future. How long he will be the starter for is yet to be seen. But for now, the 33-year-old will be getting the bulk of the workload as Toronto looks to get back in the win column and end this little slump they’re in, going 1-4-1 in their last six games, mostly against inferior competition that is at the bottom of the NHL standings this season.
Despite signing in early August at a cap hit of just $875K on a one-year deal to act as goalie depth/insurance, Martin Jones has been everything the organization had hoped he’d be and more. After getting into his first game as a Maple Leaf on December 7th against the Senators (4-3 W) and starting his first game on December 12th against the Rangers (7-3 W), the North Vancouver native has a record of 4-3-0 and one shutout with respectable numbers in those games (2.73 GAA and .915 SV%).

Pregame details:

Maple Leafs lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Nick Robertson – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Bobby McMann – David Kampf – Noah Gregor
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren

Kings’ lineup:

Quinton Byfield – Anze Kopitar – Adrian Kempe
Kevin Fiala – Phillip Danault – Trevor Moore
Alex Laferriere – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Arthur Kaliyev
Carl Grundstrom – Blake Lizotte – Trevor Lewis
Mikey Anderson – Drew Doughty
Vladislav Gavrikov – Matt Roy
Andreas Englund – Jordan Spence

Projected goalies:

Martin Jones (TOR) vs Cam Talbot (LA)

Broadcast:

Sportsnet Ontario, 10:30 pm ET/7:30 pm PT
(Stats from Hockeydb.com)
(Contract details from PuckPedia.com)

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