STORY CONTINUES BELOW THESE SALTWIRE VIDEOS
No matter else occurs to the Maple Leafs, this will probably be remembered because the spring the goaltending gods smiled upon them.
From Ilya Samsonov incomes the primary unique sequence task of his profession, to Joseph Woll’s unflappable manner out of the bullpen the previous two video games, the Leafs lastly bought via the primary spherical and have prolonged the second with largely positives from the crease.
Whereas lack of Core 4 scoring is the most well liked matter, there’s no gray space within the blue paint as was the case with Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell. They couldn’t steal an elimination recreation, additionally dropping basic supervisor Kyle Dubas’ endorsement within the course of.
Samsonov introduced Toronto over the end line in Sport 6 towards Tampa Bay, his third street extra time win and after he faltered then was harm versus Florida, the rookie Woll stepped in to maintain the season.
You’d have to return to 1977 for the final time two Toronto goalies had wins in the identical playoff 12 months, Mike Palmateer and Wayne Thomas, and a decade earlier than that to a really efficient duo, Johnny Bower and Terry Sawchuk within the Leafs’ final Cup 12 months.
Oh sure, they’ve a two-time champion on the bench in Matt Murray ought to anything go improper Friday in Sport 5. Woll, the primary rookie to win a recreation since Felix Potvin in 1993, appears to have it below management — getting blocks from blueliners and simply needing some run assist.
“It’s effectively above what we anticipated for the time line,” head coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned of Woll being off the radar with shoulder and ankle accidents a lot of 2022. “Particularly for a man who had missed coaching camp and many his low season. He didn’t get to coach, to play his place and was behind the eight ball with us and behind it with the Marlies.“For him to play the way in which he did the final common season recreation versus Tampa and the way in which he has performed in playoffs (two video games), that’s why we had no query he’d be capable to go (in Sport 4 and now beginning Friday).”
NO EASY PATH
Sport 4 was a kind of nights that Keefe forewarned the Leafs they’d need to survive to succeed at playoff time, grinding out a one-goal end result out as their high weapons struggle for treasured area.
The massive-picture stats present they’re paying the worth. Earlier than Thursday’ video games they ranked first in Nationwide Hockey League takeaways with 118, with Florida, Seattle and Carolina at 103 every, second to solely the Kraken in blocked photographs, 204-202, and third in hits (413) behind Edmonton and Seattle, simply in entrance of the Panthers.
“We didn’t quit a complete lot off the push, doing effectively with our impartial zone performs, being sensible with the puck,” mentioned Wednesday’s successful aim scorer Mitch Marner. “Our forecheckers did an excellent job getting pucks again and getting across the aim crease.
Whereas the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights saved the league’s division of participant security hopping on Thursday, nothing additional got here out of Radko Gudas ramming Toronto’s David Kampf into the boards after a whistle in Sport 4 that despatched the centre to the dressing room for evaluation. No penalty was known as on the Panther defenceman, who is likely one of the most aggressive hitters within the league.
“I don’t have audio once I watch the video again, so I don’t know precisely when the whistle blew,” Keefe mentioned. “However that’s a success on a man the place he is aware of the play both has ended or is ending. Clearly to me, that’s a success with no different intention apart from to harm the participant.
“There’s lots of violence to it, however I’m completely happy Dave is okay.”
In a scrum on the finish of the sport, Matthew Tkachuk gave previous London Knights’ junior teammate Marner a gloved fist within the face, however the Leaf laughed it off.
“I don’t actually give a flying (clean),” Marner mentioned afterwards when requested in regards to the shot.
WHAT ABOUT BOB?
Together with the remainder of the Panthers, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky noticed his six-game win streak finish on Wednesday, going again to the Boston sequence.
He’s nonetheless sporting a .921 save share after Sport 4.
“We don’t need to do something totally different, simply play our recreation be affected person,” Bobrovsky mentioned. “They’re an excellent workforce. Nobody mentioned it was going to be straightforward so we’re going again to Toronto.”
Winger Matthew Knies has “improved quite a bit” in keeping with Keefe after a concussion earlier within the sequence, although he hasn’t skated but. “He’s been exercising, however he’s not accessible for (Sport 5)” …
Florida coach Paul Maurice mentioned he doesn’t thoughts the “cocoon feeling” of being on the street after big wins in Boston and two wins at Scotiabank Enviornment. “It’s the previous line, ‘we’re not promoting tickets, we’re simply right here for the factors’. Everyone within the constructing is just not cheering for you.” … No lineup adjustments are anticipated for the Cats … The Marlies who started the third spherical of the AHL playoffs at residence on Thursday evening towards the Rochester Individuals, have added 2021 Leaf draft choose Ty Voit. The 100-point ahead with the Sarnia Sting is just not anticipated to play immediately. Sport 2 is Saturday … Final time the Leafs received to keep away from a four-game sweep was 1990 towards St. Louis, although they misplaced Sport 5.
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