Toronto Maple Leafs rebound vs. Islanders as Joseph Woll gets first shutout

Joseph Woll #60 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his first career shutout, a 3-0 victory against the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Joseph Woll #60 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his first career shutout, a 3-0 victory against the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to rebound against the New York Islanders as they helped Joseph Woll reach a career milestone.

If there were any concerns about the Toronto Maple Leafs after Saturday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, those were put to rest with a dominant 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders.

With Joseph Woll getting back between the pipes, it was important for the Leafs to play a better game in front of their backup after his NHL debut was almost spoiled by the Buffalo Sabres. Safe to say, they did that and more as Woll earned his first career shutout and only needed to make 20 saves.

Going into this game, Sheldon Keefe decided to make some changes to the lineup with Michael Bunting returning to the top line, Nick Ritchie playing with David Kämpf and Ondrej Kase while Pierre Engvall was moved to the fourth line. Considering how stale the offence looked at times during the Penguins, shaking things up made sense.

Once again, Islanders fans wanted to remind John Tavares that they don’t miss him by booing him every time he touched the puck. It’s hard to be surprised that Tavares is still getting the reaction on Long Island, it’s not like the fanbase just forgot the feelings they had about their former captain leaving.

Sure this is an Islanders dealing with some players in COVID protocols and struggling with losses in their last six games but Toronto needed to prove that they don’t play down to their opponent.

Also, how could you not love seeing Leafs players react to Woll recording his first shutout after the game as he got the water bottle shower in the dressing room.

Mitch Marner has arguably one of his best games this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Some might say that Mitch Marner’s four-point game was his best performance this season but in this game against the Islanders, he had a well-rounded performance.

He scored a shorthanded goal with a great move to shield the puck on the breakaway after Jake Muzzin made an incredible stretch pass out of the defensive zone. His second goal of the game was also a nice play as he was rewarded for his decision to drive to the net as Bunting found him in front with a great pass.

This remains a big part of Marner’s game that gets overlooked because we haven’t seen it from him as much lately. He has the ability to just flip a switch and be a difference-maker with his decision-making in tight and that’s what we saw on Sunday.

Hopefully, seeing Marner getting rewarded for his decision to be more assertive offensively opens more opportunities for him.  After only scoring one goal and three points through nine games in October, Marner now has five goals and 14 points in 11 games in the month of November.

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What were your thoughts on the Leafs win over the Islanders? Is Marner’s game back on track? Let us know in the comments below.