Ilya Samsonov sends a strong message to fans in Toronto.

Ilya Samsonov sends a strong message to fans in Toronto.

The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender shared his thoughts after the loss on Sunday night.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs did not do a great job of supporting goaltender Ilya Samsonov in his first game since being waived back in December, but if that has negatively impacted the mindset of the Russian netminder he certainly isn't letting it show.

Following the conclusion of the game itself, Samsonov faced members of the media and their questions and he seemed to be in relatively good spirits in spite of the loss on Sunday night.

"I'm so happy to be here," said Samsonov after fielding the very first question.

In spite of the loss Samsonov also felt positive about his game on the night, something that isn't hard to make a case for given the fact that he had some big saves throughout the game to keep the Maple Leafs in it.

"Just coming back today I think I see puck really good," admitted Samsonov. "I feel good, I see puck well, I little bit reset my mind, pretty good."

Although Samsonov didn't receive the support he deserved from his teammates on the night, he did get it from the Maple Leafs fan base who showered him with love and appreciation throughout the game. Chants of "Sammy! Sammy! Sammy!" could be heard throughout the game and Samsonov heard them as well.

"I love these guys," said Samsonov of the fans cheering for him. "Not secret for everybody, I love the fans, I love the city, I enjoy to play and to be here everyday. Thank you so much, it's amazing."

When asked if he would be able to build off of a performance like the one he had on Sunday night, Samsonov tempered expectations and made it clear that he would be taking things slow in an attempt to find his game again.

"I don't wanna say big words right now, I'll do some step by step," admitted Samsonov. "Couple of weeks ago I be so deep, no deeper than where I've been, so just a step by step is my mission right now."

Samsonov has the support of the Toronto faithful behind him, now it's just a question of whether or not he can deliver.