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Toronto Maple Leafs

Keefe Conflicting Message on Samsonov as Maple Leafs’ Starter

At first, reports were that Ilya Samsonov would start tonight for the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Boston Bruins. Is that still true?

The status of Ilya Samsonov for tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins seems to be a bit uncertain. After this morning’s skate, he was reported as the first goalie off the ice. That usually indicates that he would be getting the start. However, afterward, Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe’s comments have added some ambiguity to his status.

Related: Morgan Rielly Excited to Play With Ilya Lyubushkin Again

Soon after, Keefe expressed a desire to avoid having Joseph Woll “sitting for too long.” That comment suggests there could be a change in the goaltending rotation.

Samsonov Has Been in Good Form Recently

Despite a slow start in his last outing against the New York Rangers, Samsonov’s game got more solid as it went on. By the end, he had made 32 saves. He was particularly strong in the overtime and the shootout. He saved everything except one shootout goal. That performance seemed to have earned him the starting role for this crucial game against the Bruins.

Despite mediocre season statistics, including a 3.23 goals-against-average and a .883 save percentage, Samsonov has won seven of his last eight games. He now has put up a 15-5-6 record overall. His recent return to solid play has been nothing short of miraculous. With it, he has solidified his position as a reliable presence between the pipes for the Maple Leafs.

Ilya Samsonov of the Maple Leafs is facing possible demotion to AHL

However, facing the Bruins presents a challenge. Despite their recent loss, the Bruins carry with them an impressive offensive lineup. They rank ninth in the league with an average of 3.31 goals per game. If he is going to start tonight, he’ll need to remain calm and utilize his agility to prevent the Bruins’ offense from clicking. For whoever gets the nod in the Maple Leafs crease, tonight’s game promises to be a test.

The Jury Seems to Be Out on Samsonov or Woll for Tonight’s Game

However, the decision ultimately lies with the coaching staff. Right now, we are unsure who might get the start. Both goalies looked sharp in their last games.

With the Maple Leafs seeking to continue their winning streak and gain ground in the Atlantic Division standings, the goalie situation adds an element of intrigue to the matchup against the Bruins. Fans should be given further updates closer to game time to see who will be between the pipes for Toronto tonight.

Related: 3 Takeaways from Maple Leafs 4-3 Win Over the Rangers

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