Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov
Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro - USA Today Sports

Ilya Samsonov's recent run of play has been beyond impressive and the numbers back it up

Published March 15, 2024 at 2:15 PM
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Despite an obvious attempt to forget, I'm sure that most Leaf fans remember earlier in the season when Ilya Samsonov was struggling to keep the puck out of the net. However, with a flip of a switch after a trip to the waiver wire, Samsonov has rallied the past two months and has not looked back.

With strong efforts from everyone, it has helped Toronto keep pace with Florida and Boston in the Atlantic Division with the Leafs having won sixteen of their last twenty-one games. The player that has stood out the most during the past two months may very well be Samsonov.

Owning a record of 13-3 since coming back from his reset is very impressive to say the least. His stats are just as solid as his record, with a 2.35 GAA and .912 SV% that includes one shutout. This proves that Samsonov has completely bounced back and is dialed in with the playoffs looming.




On top of that, for goalies who have played a minimum of 21 games or more, Samsonov ranks second in winning percentage with a .716 winning percentage, behind only Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who sits atop the league with a .717 winning percentage.


Since Samsonov had his mental reset and found his game working with Maple Leafs goalie coach Curtis Sanford and Marlies goalie coach Hannu Toivonen, he has performed like the Samsonov we saw last season that outplayed Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in the playoffs to help Toronto win their first playoff round in nearly twenty years.

To top things off, Samsonov helped the Leafs improve to 20-7-6 on the road this season last night, which is second best road record across the league only behind Florida. Samsonov also secured his seventh straight road win last night, a franchise record he is now tied in with Jack Campbell (2020/2021), Frederik Andersen (2018/2019), Johnny Bower (1960/1961), and Turk Broda (1940/1941).


If Samsonov continues his strong play, it will be difficult for Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe to take him out of the lineup to start the playoffs this season. In that event, Joseph Woll will have to get comfortable playing the number 2 role in the playoffs, as he did last year.
POLL
March 15   |   621 answers
Ilya Samsonov's recent run of play has been beyond impressive and the numbers back it up

What would you rather have; elite goaltending, elite offense or elite defense?

Goalie26342.4 %
Offense6610.6 %
Defense29247 %
I'd rather be elite nowhere, but good everywhere00 %
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