TSN Insider And Former NHL Goaltender Reveals How Maple Leafs Goaltending Shapes Out And The Downfall Of Martin Jones

Tyler Ball
August 22, 2023  (3:26 PM)

The Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltending has been a point of discussion over the past several seasons. Heading into the 2023-24 season is no different.

Former NHL Goaltender Speaks On Samsonov


The Leafs' goaltending situation is more stable than in years past but plenty of questions still exist. Today on the OverDrive show Martin Biron a former NHL goaltender and current TSN and Buffalo Sabres analyst joined to talk about the Maple Leafs and their goaltending.
They first touched on Ilya Samsonov and Biron's thoughts on if Samsonov can continue his pace from last season.
Samsonov, in my view, showcased solid performances last year. However, there were apparent health concerns. Toronto has grappled with goaltender health issues for a while: Samsonov last season, Campbell before that, and others prior. It's disheartening for Leafs' fans, recognizing the dire need for a consistent, fit goaltender. If Samsonov remains fit and plays 55-60 games, that's fantastic.

Biron acknowledges the good performances Samsonov was able to provide last year. He also takes note that the best ability for a goaltender is availability and this is something Samsonov as well as other Leafs goaltenders have struggled with.
This past season Samsonov played well in his 42 appearances with a 2.33 goals against average and a 0.919 save percentage. He struggled more when it came time for the playoffs. For Samsonov, the biggest test will be if he can play more than 40 games in a season consistently. Currently, Samsonov's high in games played is 44 this would leave 38 for rookie goaltender Joseph Woll to have to account for.

Biron Has Praise For Leafs Young Goaltender


After giving his thoughts on Samsonov Biron talked about up-and-coming goaltender and presumed backup for 2023-24 Joseph Woll next.
I'm quite fond of Joseph Woll. He impressed last season. Yet, I'll withhold my final judgment. I'm keen to see if he can progress further. Can he manage 30 matches? If Samsonov faces injuries, can we rely on Woll for five or six consecutive games? This trust isn't firmly established yet. He certainly possesses talent and is at an optimal age to transition into the NHL.

Biron praises Woll for his early success in the NHL. He then wonders if Woll is ready to handle a full-time backup role in the NHL. Either way, Biron thinks that this is the perfect time to transition Woll to the league.

Where Do The Leafs Turn If Woll Struggles


When talking about Woll the group shifted to newly signed Martin Jones. The 33-year-old was brought in on a one-year deal. When asked about Jones, Biron had this to say:
Frankly, I was never a staunch Martin Jones supporter. Presently, goalies ought to be agile. Not necessarily "acrobatic," but they need flexibility and swift movements. I find Martin Jones quite rigid. When performing at his peak alongside Samsonov, he reminded me of Connor Hellebuyck, prioritizing positioning with some reflexive saves. But that's faded now. Granted, he began last season with Seattle but reverted to old patterns, letting in easy goals. His reflexes and mobility have deteriorated. He's on the verge of being a fringe NHL goalie but brings experience.

Biron states what most have already assumed about Jones and his place in the Leafs' goaltending hierarchy. He brings a more applicable perspective as he was an NHL goaltender for over a decade. Jones will serve as a veteran who can provide stability in small samples if Joseph Woll struggles to adjust to more games at the NHL level.
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TSN Insider And Former NHL Goaltender Reveals How Maple Leafs Goaltending Shapes Out And The Downfall Of Martin Jones

Who will start the most games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2023-24?

Ilya Samsonov81481.8 %
Joseph Woll10210.3 %
Martin Jones797.9 %
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