Memo to Leafs Nation: Joseph Woll will be fine

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
2 months ago
Leafs Nation, you’re doing it again.
Don’t do it.
Everything will be alright.
What’s with this city and trying to run goalies out of town?
Five months ago, there were legitimate conversations – in the media and online – about Joseph Woll possibly contesting for not just the Calder Trophy this season but the Vezina, too.
Fast forward to the present day. Through eight outings since returning from a high ankle sprain, the 25-year-old netminder has looked mediocre, which has prompted many to suggest that Martin Jones could be a better option for Sheldon Keefe down the stretch.
Let’s pump the brakes a bit, folks.
While there’s no denying that Woll’s yet to play anywhere to close to the way he was in December – before he went down – there’s no need to pile up on him right now. Even though yes, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are now just seven short games away, the rookie still has plenty of time to regain form in time for Round 1.
At the end of the day, all it would take is one signature start, and without question, everyone would be back on the Joseph Woll express. The perception would change tenfold.
That’s just how this market works. Every game’s life or death. Plain and simple.
Something about rose coloured glasses, right?
They lost to Tampa. So what?
Woll paled in comparison to his counterpart Andrei Vasilevskiy. So what?
Sorry to break it to the pessimists out there but the Leafs are headed to the postseason. They need one point to clinch. It’s imminent. This team’s in good standing. In the grand scheme of things, that defeat – or any of the potential ones ahead to finish the regular season – don’t mean very much. The first round opponent does not matter.
Contrary to popular belief, the sun will come up tomorrow. And so on and so forth. Bottom line: You can’t win every game.
As for Woll, at this point, it’s very likely that he’ll back-up Ilya Samsonov for Game 1. And that’s okay. Definitively, the Russian netminder has outplayed his partner over the past month, and quite frankly, he’s earned the job.
Long story short, it’s easy forget two things: A) Woll has made 34 career appearances in the NHL, and B) He’s coming off a pretty serious injury.
Patience is a virtue.

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