As regular readers know, I am a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ current goalie situation. I like Ilya Samsonov as a starter, and I equally like Joseph Woll as his current backup. I also would love to see a time when Woll and Samsonov become goalie 1A and goalie 1B for the team.

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Could I Be Wrong About Joseph Woll?

In a recent post published in The Hockey Writers, I co-wrote (with Stan Smith) about the signing of Martin Jones and what the impact might be on the team’s goalie situation. The comments from readers were interesting. Many don’t share my belief that Woll and Samsonov are the real things. At the same time, they didn’t like the signing of Jones either.

Joseph Woll, Maple Leafs

Could it be an ornery fan base? Could there be some solid points? But I want to take the comments seriously enough to try to understand them here. In the remainder of this post, I want to look at what the fans are suggesting about the potential of the young Maple Leafs’ goalie.

As well, I want to discuss their perspectives and expectations for the coming season. So, what are Maple Leafs fans’ insights and opinions about Woll’s potential role and impact on the team?

Point One: Fans See Woll as Having Mixed AHL Performance and Progression

One notable aspect of fans’ discussion centers around Woll’s performance in the AHL. Readers acknowledge that he had a standout past season. However, they also point out that his previous three seasons in the AHL were challenging.

In total, there’s a consensus that Woll has noticeably progressed over time. While acknowledging that growth, fans admit that his AHL performance wasn’t always remarkable. However, his recent success is seen as a sign of his development and potential readiness for a larger role. This indicates he’s been working to refine his skills and adapting to the professional level.

Point Two: Woll’s Transition to the NHL Is Mixed with Uncertainties

The transition from the AHL to the NHL is a key point of conversation. Some fans express concerns about how the busier NHL schedule might affect Woll’s performance. The consensus is that the increased workload and exposure could pose challenges, especially as opponents gather more video footage and scouting reports on him. This is an area where the unknowns loom large.

Point Three: Fans Believe Woll’s Skills Will Help Him Succeed

Comparisons are always inevitable in hockey discussions. Maple Leafs fans are no exception. When Woll’s abilities are measured against those of other goaltenders, they do compare favourably.

Supporters also point out the improvements in his footwork, his lateral movement, and his puck-playing skills. They see these as positive indicators of his potential success. He has the skills.

Point Four: Woll Has Made a Positive NHL First Impression in a Small Sample Size

Although there might be uncertainties, fans highlight Woll’s positive performance in a limited NHL sample. This sample size doesn’t tell the entire story, but it does provide hope that he has what it takes to succeed at the NHL level.

His supporters make a case that he should get more chances to prove his abilities.

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Point Five: The Maple Leafs Missed Opportunities for Woll’s Development

Some fans expressed disappointment in how the team managed Woll’s development. They argue that the Maple Leafs missed opportunities to give him more playing time. They also noted that some situations were missed that would have been beneficial for his growth and experience. In other words, his lack of progression might not all be his fault.

Point Six: Fans Are Optimistic About Woll Claiming the Starting Role

Optimism exists about Woll’s potential to claim the starting goalie job for the Maple Leafs. Given his age, progression, and the current state of the team’s goaltending lineup, fans believes a window of opportunity exists for him to establish himself as a dependable starter.

What Do Fans Feel About Woll’s Future Outlook?

Ultimately, fans have different opinions about how positive Woll’s future will be with the team. Supporters believe in his abilities and believe he deserves more chances to prove himself. However, there is debate about his readiness to handle the responsibilities of being a starting goalie in a demanding market like Toronto.

Joseph Woll, Maple Leafs goalie

Perhaps it’s always this way in sports. Fans have differing opinions about how valuable players are. I admit I was surprised that there were naysayers about Woll’s worth in the crease for this Maple Leafs’ team. By and large, however, most fans see Woll as having potential.

As a fan myself, I’m eager to see whether Woll can grab the chance he has to become a reliable and impactful presence in the crease. We’ll see whether the uncertainties about his transition to the NHL and his readiness for a larger role are warranted or not as the upcoming season unfolds.

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