Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll earns first NHL career shutout
By Neil Becker
Toronto Maple Leafs rookie goalie Joseph Woll couldn’t have picked a better time to get on a role.
Currently, with Leafs back -up goalie Petr Mrazek still nursing a groin injury, Woll has made a bold statement by winning his first two NHL starts.
Woll, who was called up from the Toronto Marlies in mid-November, made his NHL debut on November 13 where at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, he stopped 23 shots in what was a 5-4 win against the Sabres.
This 6’4” 203- pound goalie, who was selected by Toronto third round, 63rd overall in the 2016 entry draft, experienced another first when eight days later, he was made 20 saves to earn his first NHL shutout in what was a 3-0 win against the New York Islanders.
The Islanders, who were playing just their second game at the brand new UBS Arena, came into action not only on a five-game losing streak but also the misfortune of having six players on the COVID-19 protocol list.
Both teams were looking to rebound after losing the night before, but it was Toronto who quickly showed that killer instinct as they not only outshot the Islanders by a 12-6 margin but also took a 1-0 lead when 3:31 into regulation, Mitch Marner scored his first of two which came shorthanded. Marner received a long pass from defenceman Jake Muzzin before skating to the Islanders net and going forehand to backhand in scoring his fifth of the season.
Marner, who in on the bubble to make Team Canada’s Olympic team, logged 19:42 of ice time and ended up +2 on the night.
Islander’s fans continued the tradition of booing Leafs captain and of course former Islander John Tavares every time he touched the puck. That didn’t seem to discourage Toronto’s relentless attack as they outshot New York by a 25-13 margin after 40 minutes, but still only led by a 1-0 score.
Showing that killer instinct, the Leafs were rewarded at the two-minute mark of the third when forward Ondrej Kase scored his fifth of the year which was followed at 13:29 by Marner.
Meanwhile, Leafs forward Austin Matthews had another solid game as he logged 18:15 of ice time while finishing up with six shots on goal and a +1. On defense, Morgan Rielly logged 24:37 of ice time where he had three shots on goal.
The Leafs next see action on Wednesday, November 24th when they begin a California road trip with a 10:00 p.m. puck drop at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Kings.
Toronto Maple Leafs 3 New York Islanders 0
3:31 SHG- Mitch Marner (5)
Jake Muzzin (5)
2:00 Ondrej Kase (5)
David Kampf (3) N
Nick Ritchie (3)
13:29 Mitch Marner (6)
Michael Bunting (5)