Insider Revealed Maple Leafs Won’t Go Far with Samsonov.

Samsonov in the Net Won’t Help the Maple Leafs Advance

Ilya Samsonov, the goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has had an uncertain 2023–24 season. The 27-year-old signed a one-year contract extension after leading the team to their first postseason series victory in almost two decades. Nevertheless, after a terrible start in 2023–24, the city’s affection for him swiftly faded.

Samsonov had a save percentage (SV%) of less than.900 in 10 of his 15 starts before to the new year, demonstrating his utterly terrible start to the season. He was placed on waivers on January 1st, leaving management with minimal options.

After clearing waivers, Samsonov was sent back to the Toronto Marlies, an American Hockey League affiliate. However, the Leafs administration decided to have him skate and practice off-team instead of having him play for the Marlies, and it appeared to be a wise decision. A few weeks later, the Leafs decided to recall him, and he played much better in the final stretch. Despite his unimpressive 3.13 goals against average (GAA) and.890 save percentage, it was obvious to everyone that he would start in goal in Game 1 of the playoffs.

The Problems of Samsonov Have Resurfaced
The Leafs’ postseason journey hasn’t gone as planned; after losing to the Boston Bruins 4-2 last night, they now find themselves 2-1 down in the series. Just around the halfway point of the second period, Matthew Knies was able to open the scoring, giving his team a lot of energy to start Game 3. That quickly changed, though, as Samsonov gave Trent Frederic a low-danger chance to beat him under the blocker.

Allowing this goal was unacceptable over the entire season, but especially after your side had seized the lead. This significantly sapped the enthusiasm in the arena, and even though the Leafs managed to tie the score going into the break, Jake DeBrusk gave the Bruins their first lead of the game just one minute into the third.

After about ten minutes, Tyler Bertuzzi was able to tie the score, but Brad Marchand beat Samsonov in just twenty-eight seconds, utterly erasing whatever momentum Bertuzzi had gained. True number one goalies always manage to make saves like this one to keep their team’s momentum going, even though this goal wasn’t quite as feeble as Frederic’s.

Samsonov has a 3.05 GAA and a.895 SV% through the first three playoff games following his performance last night. Those are not good enough to win, and it’s difficult to see them improving much, if at all, given his fairly mediocre season stats. If this series goes on, the Leafs won’t win, which has made head coach Sheldon Keefe seriously consider his options.
In light of Samsonov’s difficulties in Games 1 and 3, it would be prudent to start Joseph Woll in Game 4. Even while the 25-year-old’s season figures were likewise far from spectacular, they were still better than Samsonov’s 2.94 GAA and.907 SV%. He has also participated in four postseason games. postseason games last spring, which he fared quite well in with a 2.43 GAA and .915 SV%.

The goalie Keefe selects is probably not going to be made public today, but if he goes with Samsonov, the Leafs’ only hope of winning Game 4 will be to limit the offensive output of the Bruins. Given how good the Bruins are as a team, the Russian goalie’s inability to produce game-changing saves will probably mean that the Leafs will lose in the first round once more.

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