Martin Jones celebrates a win with his goaltending partner Ilya Samsonov.
Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports

Martin Jones has a surprising reaction to losing the net in Toronto to Ilya Samsonov

Published February 9, 2024 at 8:56

There are few stories in the NHL this season more interesting than the unexpected fall and subsequent return to form of Ilya Samsonov, but even through his tremendous struggles, the Russian netminder always had a good support circle, which included his teammates in Toronto.

For several weeks, Samsonov was almost entirely unplayable, which makes his current surge all the more impressive. After losing the net to Joseph Woll and eventually to 3rd stringer Martin Jones as well, Samsonov's path took him through waivers, down to the AHL and back before finding his game again. The veteran Jones has been through it all before. He was by Samsonov's side through it all and even though he's been riding the bench a lot lately, he has maintained a very positive stance on the whole thing.

"I have been around long enough to know how it works and my attitude has to just be to continue to work and be ready. There are still (33) games left and a lot can happen. Nothing really changes for me. I just make sure I'm utilizing the practice time and staying as sharp as I can."
- Martin Jones on staying sharp as the current backup with the Maple Leafs.

Jones' last start was January 20th and he struggled at times in his last five games, posting a record of 1-3-1. Toronto has played most of their back-to-backs already, so it may be a while until Jones gets back into a game. At this rate, his next appearance may not come until the team's back-to-back against Arizona on Feb. 21st and Vegas on Feb. 22nd.

Despite Jones becoming an NHL backup yet again, he enjoys working with Samsonov and continues to cheer on his goaltending partner from the bench when Samsonov makes big saves. Jones also spoke on what it's been like supporting his goaltending partner and how he has enjoyed seeing Samsonov bounce back in a quote below:

"It's awesome. We've all been through tough stretches and it's not easy mentally. It's not easy to bounce back the way he has. Credit to him. It's great to see, absolutely."
- Martin Jones gives credit to Ilya Samsonov for bouncing back.

Many veteran players in the NHL have gone through tough stretches throughout their careers. Nobody is immune to the ups and downs that occur during an NHL career. Being able to help Samsonov come to terms with that has helped the current goaltending duo build a solid relationship as they work together to solidify the crease in Toronto while Woll works his way back from his high-ankle sprain.

Credit to Jones for being a consummate pro and being there for his teammate during his time of need. Samsonov thriving doesn't bode well for Jones' playing time, especially with Joseph Woll's return just around the corner. To see Jones taking on the role that he is and maintaining his professionalism shows his tremendous character. The team-first mentality from Jones is something that you absolutely love to see.
February 9   |   402 answers
Martin Jones has a surprising reaction to losing the net in Toronto to Ilya Samsonov

How should the Maple Leafs handle their goaltending situation when Woll returns from injury?

Waive Jones12731.6 %
Waive Samsonov22355.5 %
Waive Woll5212.9 %
Carry all three goalies00 %
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