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Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll makes a save after a shot from Florida Panthers center Eetu Luostarinen at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Fla. on May 7.Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

On the day before the Maple Leafs’ most important game in who knows how long, Joseph Woll seemed calm enough.

He displayed no jitters as he stood in front of his dressing stall at FLA Live Arena a little more than 24 hours before he was to start in Toronto’s net against the Panthers in Game 4 of their second-round series in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“I am excited for this opportunity,” he said. “I hope the team has as much faith in me as I do in them.”

A loss on Wednesday will bring the Maple Leafs’ season to a calamitous end. It will amount to four losses in a row after the high of winning a postseason series for the first time since 2004.

The ramifications beyond it are huge. A four-game sweep could trigger massive changes within the organization. A new president, perhaps. A new general manager, maybe, and if so, a new head coach.

None of that can be placed on the shoulders of a 24-year-old who has played all of 11 regular-season games in the NHL and a bit of two in the playoffs. But this is a huge moment for him and everyone else.

A standout at Boston College and with the American Hockey League Marlies, Woll is being called upon at this critical juncture because Ilya Samsonov incurred an upper-body injury on Sunday.

Woll entered the contest in the second period with the Leafs up 1-0 and stopped 18 of 21 shots in a 3-2 overtime defeat. Matt Murray, the veteran acquired in the off-season, is available, but Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe chose to go with the rookie instead.

Murray has not appeared in a game since April 2 because of a head injury.

“Joe will go,” Keefe said Tuesday after the club took to its opponent’s ice for 45 minutes. “We have lots of confidence in him and are excited for him to get this opportunity.”

Toronto’s first draft pick in the third round in 2016, Woll was the starting goalie at Boston College for three years and never had a save percentage lower than .913. He has spent parts of four seasons with the Marlies and, after being sidelined for eight months by shoulder and ankle issues, seemed to turn the corner this year.

He went 16-4-1 with a .927 save percentage in the AHL and in several call-ups from the minors went 6-1 with the big club. In an outing in April he had 46 saves in a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay.

“I have a pretty good mindset of what I want to do in life and I pursue that,” Woll, who meditates, said. “I am just happy where I am. I am here now and am focused on what’s in front of me.”

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The Maple Leafs have Mount Everest to climb if they are going to survive the round. Only four teams in NHL history have ever come back from an 0-3 deficit.

Wagons are being circled; it’s them against everybody now.

“We don’t care what you guys say,” Mitch Marner told the Canadian Press on Tuesday. “We don’t listen to you guys outside of this locker room. We’re just focused on ourselves.”

That is a good place for Marner, Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares to start. Toronto’s four core players – earning US$40.5-million this season – have yet to score against the Panthers. As a group they have gone 0 for 49 in shooting.

“I don’t think I have ever been down 3-0 in a series before,” Nylander said. He did not make excuses. “I just think Florida is a really good team.”

If the Maple Leafs win on Wednesday, they will return to Scotiabank Arena on Friday for Game 5. If a sixth game is necessary it will take place on Sunday in Sunrise.

The Maple Leafs are not looking that far ahead.

“I don’t think it makes any sense for us to focus on coming back all the way to win four,” Keefe said. “We can’t win four games on Wednesday night.

“What we need to focus on is one game and hopefully build momentum from there.”

Another season hangs in the balance. It’s certainly not on him, but Woll is the guy handed an unenviable task.

“Right now I am focused on what’s straight ahead,” he said. “There is a time for reflection on what’s happened but that time is not now.”

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