Samsonov or Woll? Leafs' projected Game 4 starter revealed

Mike Armenti
April 27, 2024  (10:52)

Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll
Photo credit: NHL

With Jeremy Swayman likely drawing the start for Boston in Game 4, Sheldon Keefe seems to have decided between Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll as well.

While the expectation is that the Bruins will go right back to Swayman in Game 4, nobody was overly sure who the Leafs might start tonight. All signs, though, point to Ilya Samsonov getting the nod.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are trailing the Boston Bruins 2-1 in their 7-game series, with goaltending being the focus on either side. While Jeremy Swayman has been nothing short of spectacular for the Bruins, Ilya Samsonov's play is a simile to Forrest Gump's "life is like a box of chocolates", because, well, we never know what we're getting from the 27-year-old netminder.
Samsonov's stellar performance in Game 2 is the kind of goaltending that wins you a series. Unfortunately for the Leafs, his play in Games 1 and 3 left a lot to be desired and really highlighted the biggest issue with him; inconsistency.
Samsonov has largely played very well in the series, making quite a few saves that he had no business making. Unfortunately, he has also allowed some back-breaking goals that he had no business allowing.
Ahead of Saturday's morning skate, there were some questions over whether the Leafs might turn to Joseph Woll for Game 4. Those questions have largely been put to rest after Samsonov took part in his regular starting routine, leaving the game day skate first, with Woll remaining on the ice for extra work, as backups tend to do.
If the Leafs want to have any hope of winning this series, they'll need the Ilya Samsonov that went on an 18-3-1 run from January-March. He can't allow the odd squeaker and hope to win - not in the playoffs. Not when the stakes are as high as they are.
Samsonov is capable of stealing a game, and that's exactly what the Leafs need him to do tonight. If he does provide them with the timely saves they need, though, the Maple Leafs had better provide him with what they haven't all series long. The goal support.
27 AVRIL   |   701 ANSWERS
Samsonov or Woll? Leafs' projected Game 4 starter revealed

If Ilya Samsonov loses Game 4, would you put Joseph Woll in for Game 5 in Boston?

Yes, we would have to51673.6 %
No, can't throw the kid in for an elimination game12217.4 %
I might go with Martin Jones, tbh639 %
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