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“We need stops”: Sheldon Keefe openly criticizes Ilya Samsonov

For many years now, one of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ biggest problems has been in front of the net.

Even though we generally have very good regular seasons, we never seem to have a real starter with great consistency between the posts.

It’s been a merry-go-round in front of the Leafs’ net for several years now, with starting goaltender changes occurring very frequently.

Well, this season is no exception to Toronto’s long-standing trend.

We don’t have a starting goalie, and what’s worse, we have one of the NHL’s worst goalies in Ilya Samsonov.

Even taking all goalies who have played at least one game in the NHL this season Samsonov is in the bottom of the cellar at 82ᵉ rank out of 85 with a .862 save percentage.

Incidentally, after another very ordinary performance from Samsonov yesterday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Maple Leafs head coach wasn’t shy about criticizing his goalie’s work.

As Keefe explains, defensive mistakes are all the more noticeable when you don’t get any saves from your goaltender, and it showed last night against the Blue Jackets.

Samsonov allowed six goals on 21 shots, giving him a .714 save percentage.

It’s atrocious, and even if the Leafs are in good shape for the playoffs, it’s an issue that’s very worrisome in Toronto, and Sheldon Keefe understands that.

The Leafs’ head coach was quick to send a clear message to his general manager in a post-game press briefing against the Blue Jackets.

“This is the NHL, we need saves, we need points and we need wins. So, I’m sure Tre (Brad Treliving) will consider all options.” – Sheldon Keefe

Keefe makes it clear that he needs help in front of the net as he no longer seems to have confidence in Samsonov, who has allowed 21 goals in his last four games.

With the Ilya Samonsov era coming to an end, the Leafs will probably try to acquire a new goaltender, given that Joseph Woll is still injured and has little NHL experience.

Will the Leafs be looking at the Montreal Canadiens three-way?

Stay tuned.

In a gust

– Luke Hughes is having a really good rookie season for a defenseman.

– Good write-up on the Dallas Stars’ solid Quebec prospect.

– Not the NHL’s best marketing move, let’s say.

– Up next.

– Great acquisition for LA FC.

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