Ilya Samsonov blasts his “sh**y” performance in 2023

The Leafs goaltender hasn't had the best start to the year.



The good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs through two games of the 2023-24 season is that they are undefeated, having beaten the rival Montreal Canadiens and the Minnesota Wild thanks to a pair of hat tricks from sniper forward Auston Matthews. 

The bad news is that their defense and goals against leaves plenty to be desired so far, and goaltender Ilya Samsonov has looked anything but solid between the pipes. Despite his 2-0 record, his goals against average is a ghastly 4.46 along with a .839 save percentage. 

For Samsonov, he's chalking it up to experiencing some "sh*tty* bounces. 

"Compared to the first one I feel more comfortable," he said. "Every game I've had a couple of sh*tty goals and sh*tty bounces." 

One time when you try to get too low, it's hard to move," he continued. "You just have to get your stance a little bit higher and it will be easy to move."

Samsonov won't have the chance to fully redeem himself tonight against Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks, as it will be Joseph Woll getting the start. But head coach Sheldon Keefe believes it's only a matter of time before Samsonov gets his groove back.

"It's just looking like it's early and he hasn't found his groove yet," Keefe said. "There should be a level of structure and security around the goaltenders that allows them to find that groove and their confidence and everything falls into place from there."

Tonight's game against the Blackhawks will start from Scotiabank Arena at 7:00 PM EST, and it will be Bedard's first ever game against the Leafs. Who comes out on top, and can Woll hold the line against the young phenom? 

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