Ilya Samsonov, Sheldon Keefe Buy Time With Leafs Win Over Seattle

Both Ilya Samsonov and Sheldon Keefe have had rough seasons so far, but both of them may have had their best games of the season in Sunday's win over Seattle
Toronto Maple Leafs v Seattle Kraken
Toronto Maple Leafs v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs took down the Seattle Kraken on Sunday night in a much needed victory.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a well-rounded game, outshooting the Kraken 26-17, while owning most of the possession throughout all 3 periods.

This was a much-needed win for the Leafs, who had won just 1 of their previous 6 games.

Not only was this huge for the team, but also for goaltender Ilya Samsonov and Head Coach Sheldon Keefe, who may have just kept their jobs on the Leafs.

Ilya Samsonov, Sheldon Keefe Keep Their Spots On Toronto Maple Leafs With Win Over Seattle

Sunday night's win may have been a turning point in Ilya Samsonov's season. Samsonov, who had struggled with inconsistencies and self-confidence throughout most of the year, might be back on track to playing like his old self again.

The game vs Seattle was his best of the year. Despite only having 17 shots against, he stopped all but one of them, which was not his fault, whatsoever.

On top of this, he made multiple highlight-reel saves.

Samsonov has also received a ton of support from Leafs fans, many of whom are cheering for him to succeed and get back to his play from last year.

Let's hope he can keep this up.

As for Sheldon Keefe, he made 2 key moves to the lineup yesterday, both of which he should've done a long time ago.

The first move he made was benching Mark Giordano in favour of Conor Timmins. I respect Mark Giordano and his legacy, but he's no longer a NHL-calibre defenseman. He should be the 7th d-man on the Leafs at the very most.

While Timmins is not perfect, he is still a useful player. He can skate well and move the puck better than most Leafs defensemen, currently.

But the best move he made was playing Nick Robertson.

With his goal last game he now has found the back of the net 4 times in his last 6 games. It still baffles me why Sheldon Keefe chooses not to use him more in the lineup.

Even with Keefe's mistakes this year, he did do a great job last game, and had the Leafs lost vs the Kraken, there's a good chance that would've been his last game behind the bench in Toronto.


With that being said, both of Samsonov and Keefe will have to be just as good (if not better) for the rest of the year if the Leafs want a chance at the Stanley Cup.

Let's see if they can do it.