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Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Old Tavares & Young Woll Both Contribute

In the Toronto Maple Leafs last game, a win over the Nashville Predators, John Tavares and Joseph Woll shined. How did they help the team?

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs’ Quick Hits, I’ll look at the team’s successful road trip. The team’s record was 3-2. However, even in the loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the team played one of its best games of the season.

Things seem to be coming around at exactly the right time. That’s true of the two Maple Leafs’ players I’ll talk about in this Quick Hits’ post. One is the old guy – captain John Tavares. The other is the youngster – goalie Joseph Woll.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Woll, McCabe, Tavares & Kerfoot

Quick Hit One: John Tavares Is Contributing Well

There’s no question that John Tavares is a skilled ice hockey player. In the team’s last game against the Nashville Predators, he played a key role. His two goals and one assist helped leading his team to the win.

There are three reasons why Tavares is contributing so well to the team:

Reason One: Tavares Has a Strong Scoring Ability

This season, as with most in his past, Tavares has shown his talent for finding the back of the net. He scored his 31st and 32nd goals of the season in the Predators’ game. He’s also a strong power-play scorer. His 15 power-play goals lead his team and rank him among the top ten power-play performers in the NHL.

John Tavares Toronto Maple Leafs Upper Deck card
John Tavares Toronto Maple Leafs Upper Deck card

Reason Two: Taveres Knows How to Establish Effective Scoring Positioning

It was interesting to me that Tavares scored both of his goals almost from an identical place on the ice. This is because he’s so skilled at positioning himself in front of the opposing team’s net. He’s a whiz at playing in the “bumper position.” Such positioning (as well as his great hand/eye coordination) have allowed him to take advantage of scoring opportunities. And goal-scoring contributes to team success.

Reason Three: Tavares Shows Up at the Right Time

Thus far this season, Tavares performaces have been timely. In fact, he has a reputation for stepping up and delivering when his team needs him most. That was evident in the Predators’ game. His track record of performing well in key games and clutch situations makes him a valuable asset to his team.

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 3-2 Win Over Predators

Quick Hit Two: Joseph Woll Suddenly Seems Like a Viable Option in the Net

Young goalie Joseph Woll also stepped in for the Maple Leafs in the Predators’ game. Although he’s played only four games this seaon, Woll’s shown he is a reliable option for the rest of the season. Here are three reasons why:

Reason One: Woll’s Shown Solid Performance

Woll had a strong showing in the Predators’ game. He made key saves on shots that came from all over the ice. He’s shown the ability to battle hard. His positioning is stellar, which allows him to make crucial saves when called upon. He also plays the puck well, and is versatile in how he plays the game.

Reason Two: Woll’s a Dependable Backup

Woll isn’t expected to steal the starting job from either Ilya Samsonov of Matt Murray. However, he’s shown he can be relied upon in case of injuries that might require him to step in. This makes him a valuable asset as a backup goalie for the rest of the season.

Reason Three: Woll Has Playoff Potential

Woll’s performance gives Maple Leafs’ fans a sign that his potential might be higher than just as a reliable backup. Could he get some time in playoffs? In the playoffs, teams might need a strong backup who can step in and perform at a high level. Woll’s strong showing over his four games this season suggests he has the potential to be that kind of player for his team.

Two Players, One Older and One Younger – Both Contributing to the Maple Leafs’ Cause

Interestingly, Tavares is one of the senior players on this Maple Leafs team. He’s the Maple Leafs’ captain. At the same time, Woll is one of the junior members of the team. Yet, both had a huge hand in the team’s last game – a victory – over the Predators.

Tavares is known for his strong scoring ability, effective positioning, and timely performances in key games. He’s been a valuable asset to his team for several seasons now. And, it’s clear he still has the potential to make important contributions to the team’s success.

Woll is a young goalie prospect. He’s one of the three goalies who have been maligned this season. However, looking at the team’s goalie numbers the goalies have strong numbers. As a team, the collective save percentage is .906 and a goals-against-average of 2.73. That’s even counting Erik Kallgren’s 10 games with a save percentage of .898.

Woll’s shown that he can be a reliable backup for the team. He’s continued to have strong showings in the 2022-23 season. He’s solid, dependable as a backup, and has potential for playoff success.

Overall, both players have made important contributions to the success of the Maple Leafs this season.

Related: How Well Do You Know Maple Leafs’ Players of Yore?



  1. Pingback: Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Old Tavares & Young Woll Both Contribute Its Playoff Hockey Fantasy Hockey News - Its Playoff Hockey

  2. gfinale

    March 28, 2023 at 9:00 am

    Tavares is not actually that old for a star player. They tend to play well for a few extra years beyond other players. My theory says he’s looking much better this year as opposed to the past 2 because he probably conditioned tons in the offseason. The one before, he was injured and couldn’t. I believe he wanted to be as good as he ever was or better this past off season and went to town. He looks it. Out of his 15 seasons, he’s got 5th most goals and 4th most assists already with about 9 games left! Tavares is NOT slipping. The only thing I hope is that, when he’s going hard, he keeps his head up more. He’s had a few dangerous encounters in recent years including the concussion.

  3. gfinale

    March 28, 2023 at 9:07 am

    Murray, the goalie made of glass, should be all but shelved until the playoffs to ensure he doesn’t get injured. He isn’t going to forget how to play goal by sitting for 2 weeks! In this way, Murray will definitely be ready to step in when really needed in the playoffs. Instead, Woll should be given every start possible without loading him up too much so we see better what he has and he’s more ready for the playoffs.

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