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Leafs break their silence, publicly address Samsonov's rough stretch


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Ryan Smitheram
December 23, 2023  (9:09)
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Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov is 1-1-3 in his last five starts. Aside from his 4-0 shutout win over the Nashville Predators, he has given up at least 4 goals in each of those losses since. On Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres, Samsonov gave up 5 goals on 19 shots and was chased from the net for the third time this season, this time in favour of Martin Jones, who did not fair any better.

Over the last 48 hours, Samsonov has been the focal point of the Toronto media to the extent that a few analysts want him to get the Jack Campbell treatment and be sent to the minors. Following the 9-3 beat down at the hands of the Sabres, the Leafs returned to practice Friday for a full skate ahead of their final game before the Christmas break. A few players were asked about Samsonov's play of late and they immediately came to his defense.
"We have all been through it and we feel for each other, so honestly, it's just something where you try to be a good teammate and push each other in practice," said Martin Jones. "I don't have any doubt that we will get it turned around."

Currently on another heater of a point streak, William Nylander echoed Jones' comments and went a step further by calling out the team.
"We didn't go out there and help him throughout the game (in Buffalo). We didn't make it easy on him. We're there to help him get through it. We know what kind of goalie he can be. He will be there again."

While many people are hoping that Joseph Woll returns sooner than later to provide some stability in goal for the Leafs, Samsonov and the team are hoping that an extended break over the holidays will allow him to hit the reset button mentally and come back from the break with a renewed confidence.
POLL
23 DECEMBRE   |   933 ANSWERS
Leafs break their silence, publicly address Samsonov's rough stretch

Who would you start in the first game coming out of the Christmas break if you were Sheldon Keefe?

Samsonov, to get his confidence up13814.8 %
Jones, because he deserves it69374.3 %
Really not sure10210.9 %
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