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Woll returns to the crease as the Maple Leafs look to bounce back against Arizona

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
1 month ago
After missing the last 80-plus days due to a high-ankle sprain sustained in a game against the Ottawa Senators in early December, goalie Joseph Woll is projected to return to the crease tonight to take on the Arizona Coyotes, as the Toronto Maple Leafs continue their five-game homestand.
Woll is still on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) but should be activated ahead of tonight’s contest, and according to Sheldon Keefe, he confirmed to the media after practice this morning that the team will indeed carry three goalies (Woll, Samsonov, and Jones) once the 25-year-old is activated off LTIR.
When Woll went down with his injury at the beginning of December, plenty of fans in the fan base thought the season was over. Without Woll in the lineup, Toronto had a struggling Ilya Samsonov and a 34-year-old Martin Jones, who signed with the team as the third-string goalie in August.
Fast forward to today, and everyone knows how the last three months have gone. Jones surprisingly stabilized the Maple Leafs’ crease in Woll’s absence when Samsonov continued his struggles. Jones went on a run with incredible goaltending, forcing the team to put Samsonov on waivers, allowing him to take a break from the NHL. Samsonov returned to the net soon after and has bounced back, but it has come at the cost of Jones running into struggles.
Luckily, after nearly three months, Woll is back in the net for the Toronto Maple Leafs as he and the team look to continue their hot streak with the playoffs slowly creeping up.
At the time of his injury, Joseph Woll had played in just 15 games with the team, posting a record of 8-5-1 with fantastic numbers, 2.80 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. Despite missing nearly three months, Woll only trails Samsonov by 12 games played and Jones by five. He is three wins back of Jones and six back of Samsonov.

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – Max Domi – William Nylander
Bobby McMann – John Tavares – Nick Robertson
Pontus Holmberg – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano – William Lagesson
One lineup note: Timothy Liljegren is out tonight for the second consecutive game, forcing Toronto to run with an all-lefty blue line again. However, it appears Sheldon Keefe is going with a top pairing of Morgan Rielly and TJ Brodie for tonight’s game despite their struggles for the bulk of the season.
Noah Gregor is also projected to be a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game – in an underwhelming first season with the Maple Leafs. One has to wonder if Toronto will keep him as depth, place him on waivers to free up a roster spot or throw him in any potential future trades as the trade deadline continues to creep up on the calendar.

Arizona Coyotes’ lineup:

Alex Kerfoot – Barrett Hayton – Nick Schmaltz
Matias Maccelli – Nick Bjugstad – Lawson Crouse
Jason Zucker – Logan Cooley – Dylan Guenther
Michael Carcone – Jack McBain – Liam O’Brien
J.J. Moser – Mathew Dumba
Sean Durzi – Michael Kesselring
Juuso Valimaki – Troy Stecher

Projected goalies:

Joseph Woll (TOR) vs Connor Ingram (ARI)

Broadcast:

Sportsnet, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT
(Stats from hockey-reference.com)
(Projected lineups from dailyfaceoff.com)
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