Ilya Samsonov tending the twine for the Leafs
Photo credit: NHL

Leafs confirm starting goalie for tonight's clash with the Dallas Stars

Published February 7, 2024 at 12:04
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

The Toronto Maple Leafs returned from their bye week and All-Star break against the New York Islanders Monday night. A pair of "gifts", as head coach Sheldon Keefe called the Islanders' second and third goals, led to an excellent performance by Ilya Samsonov going to waste.

That extra work he has put in over the bye week and in January when he was placed on waivers has paid dividends for the Leafs since he returned to the net and earned him some bonus points with Keefe. With the Leafs slated to take on the Dallas Stars tonight, Keefe confirmed that Samsonov would start his fifth game in a row.

It was expected that when he returned, the Leafs would give him a string of consecutive starts until Joseph Woll is available to return to action as Martin Jones had struggled in January. Since returning, Samsonov is 3-2-0, but has a .926 save percentage over those five starts along with one shutout. He looks like the Samsonov the Leafs had last year, which is great to see. Now, he just needs to continue to build off of each game and sustain his play.

A win tonight against Dallas would give Samsonov 4 wins in his last 5 games, which would undoubtedly work wonders for his level of confidence moving forward. However, it will be up to the players in front of him to play a solid two-way game and limit the number of high-danger chances he faces tonight.


POLL
February 7   |   699 answers
Leafs confirm starting goalie for tonight's clash with the Dallas Stars

How would you split the starts in Toronto once Joseph Woll is back?

Woll and Samsonov 50/5016123 %
Ride the hot hand, whoever it is38655.2 %
I'd keep all 3 goalies involved15221.7 %
Sammy has earned a run. Give him the lion's share00 %
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