Showdown with Sammy: Ilya Samsonov To Make His Maple Leafs Debut Against the Capitals on October 13

Paige Taylor White/Toronto Star

While the Washington Capitals revamped their goaltending tandem during the offseason, they won’t have to wait long to see one of their most recent former occupants of the crease as they begin the 2022-23 regular season.

Per NHL.com’s Dave McCarthy, former Caps netminder Ilya Samsonov will make his first start with the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Capitals on Thursday, October 13, in Toronto.

The Capitals’ 2015 first-round pick struggled to find number one form during his three seasons in Washington, and although it was expected he would receive a qualifying offer from the team this offseason, the Caps opted to start from scratch in goal, after inconsistencies from both Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek; the team signed Stanley Cup winner Darcy Kuemper and backup Charlie Lindgren to multi-year deals.

In 89 Games Played in Washington, Samsonov went 52-22-8, with a 2.81 Goals-Against Average and .902 Save Percentage.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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10 Responses to Showdown with Sammy: Ilya Samsonov To Make His Maple Leafs Debut Against the Capitals on October 13

  1. Anonymous says:

    He’s gonna stand on his head, isn’t he? 🙄

  2. novafyre says:

    I’d wish him well, but I still feel jilted by him. Same way I feel about Jagr and Semin. Terrific talents, terrific potential, and they just didn’t give it all for the Caps. Vee, on the other hand, I do wish well. I felt he tried hard and did give us all he could. But not Sammy.

    • I know what you mean. I agree, he definitely wanted to play well but just didn’t seem to click. I do wonder had Lundqvist played that one season, if Samsonov would perhaps have approached things differently. Certainly lacked a veteran goalie for most of his time in Washington.

      • steven says:

        I think you are right there; if Lundqvist had played that one season there would have been someone to help his game and help him grow in this league. Instead we had 2 young goalies trying to find their way in this league and competing for playing time and that was not good. He had a tremendous amount of growing up to do and needed to be humbled a bit to ba a better goalie.

  3. steven says:

    Sorry guys but I just cant wish anything good for the immature player that was here. I hope that he gets pounded in the 1st period and pulled. Now maybe not getting offered a contract and having to find a new home and job might humble him enough that he gets his head screwed on straight and starts to live up to his potential. Sad to say this but I doubt it.

    • KimRB says:

      I could care about him one or another now. He’s the enemy, nothing more, nothing less. But glad that the FO actually admitted a mistake, and jettisoned both goalies. Previous Caps management would not have done that. Poile’s idea was to double down on offensive defensemen to improve offense. And he’s still doing that. After 40 years as a GM, you’d think he’d have learned. McPhee’s solution to fix a weak D was to bring in another washed up, 2 way guy. And let’s not forget the carousel of washed up 2nd line centers. McClellan has his faults, but he will admit mistakes, and take steps to correct them.

    • Jonathan says:

      Immaturity isn’t always the result of pride. Being ‘humbled’ isn’t always the solution to immaturity.

      • novafyre says:

        I think Sammy came to the Caps with a huge ego believing all those press releases and draft selection. So some of his issues were maturity but some were related to his ego (pride).

        Listening to Cooper talk about Vasy before their game tonight, he emphasized Vasy’s preparation and drive — first in, last out. Always looking for a way to get better. Never, ever saw this from Sammy. Could have been his lack of maturity or could have been his ego — he didn’t need to do those things. Either way, result was the same.

        He’s a year older, might be more mature. Or getting a contract a LOT lower than Vee’s might deflate his ego a bit. Or he might remain the same.

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