Sheldon Keefe gets honest regarding Ilya Samsonov

Can the Leafs goaltender improve?



To say that Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov has struggled this season would be an understatement.

While his win-loss record of 5-2-5 isn’t the worst thing in the world, his goals against average of 3.52 and save percentage of .871 certainly isn’t going to get the job done when it comes time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the spring.

For head coach Sheldon Keefe, the Christmas break may be just what Samsonov needed to get his mind right. 

"In terms of how it sets up, I think it’s great. It is a chance to get away from the game for a bit and then also come back and have an opportunity to get back up to speed and see the puck,” Keefe said. 

“I have always kind of felt that any time you take a break — such as the three-day break we took — it tends to be difficult on the goalies. They are so used to their routines, seeing pucks, seeing releases, and all of those kinds of things. When you break that, it is harder to get the timing back."

Keefe also stated that Samsonov would be getting the start tomorrow night against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.  

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