Samsonov reflects on crowd chanting his name
Photo credit: NHL

Ilya Samsonov tugs on everyone's heartstrings with comments about hearing fans chant his name again

Published January 25, 2024 at 10:03

The Toronto Maple Leafs escaped the first game of their home-and-home series with an important two points last night in a 1-0 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets. It was by no means a good game for the Leafs as they struggled to mount any offense and were severely outshot 16-4 at one point early in the game, but had a chance to win thanks to the outstanding play of netminder Ilya Samsonov, highlighted by a pair of saves on a 2-on-0 early in the second.

With the Leafs on a powerplay, the Jets cleared the puck to center and managed to get Adam Lowry and Morgan Barron behind all five Leaf players. On the 2-on-0, Barron and Lowry made multiple passes to get Samsonov moving laterally before Lowry fired a shot on goal which Samsonov stopped. Lowry quickly fed the puck to Barron in front, but he too was robbed by the edge of the pad of Samsonov.

Following the pair of spectacular saves, for the second game in a row, the crowd at Scotiabank Arena started chanting "Sam-my! Sam-my!" to show their appreciation. After the game, Samsonov was asked about the support from the home crowd.

"It was unbelievable. I almost cried. I miss this. It's a really big moment for me, it's really important to me."

Samsonov also shared that he gave the team's "Player of the Game" belt to Auston Matthews for scoring the game-winner, but Matthews refused to keep it and was quick to give it back to his goaltender, who was the clear cut MVP on the night.

Since returning to the Leafs' lineup, Samsonov is 2-1-0 and has stopped 48 of the last 49 shots he has faced. He has looked like last year's Samsonov and with the Leafs having the toughest schedule in the second half of the season, they will need him to continue to play at the level he has since his return moving forward.

January 25   |   533 answers
Ilya Samsonov tugs on everyone's heartstrings with comments about hearing fans chant his name again

How many starts will Samsonov get between now and the end of the season

256812.8 %
15-2432561 %
10-1414026.3 %
Less than 10 starts once Woll comes back00 %
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