Stop me if you heard this one before: The Toronto Maple Leafs GM and Goalie have cost them another game.
In one of the most frustrating games of the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the New York Islanders in the final two minutes of play, not even getting a single point, in a game in which they were by far the better team.
The Leafs lost because they don't have an NHL goalie on their roster and were forced to play Ilya Samsonov, despite it being clear to everyone invested that he isn't good enough to be the starting goalie of a team that isn't intent on drafting high.
Sure, Samsonov was fine in a couple of games last week against a short-handed Winnipeg Jets team, but last night he showed why you can't trust him. You can't blame this one on Samsonov however, the Leafs GM has known he needs a goalie for months and hasn't done a damned thing.
Last night the Leafs were the best team, they had the puck more, they had the most shots, and they out chanced the Islanders 34-23. They lost because their goalie couldn't get the job done.
With No Goalie or GM Maple Leafs "Surprisingly" Lose Game They Deserved to Win
The first goal the Islanders scored saw Samsonov slide across his net, only for the rebound to go off the post and right to an open player for an easy goal. Even though they scored twice on this place, basically, at least only one of them counted.
You can't be letting in slap shots (even one-timers) from the circle. That's just not quality NHL goaltending.
Next up Samsonov did a great impression of what my Mom would do if she had to face an NHL player on a breakaway. I think a once saw a deer in the middle of the road who made the same expression.
Finally, the winning goal was pure loser-town from a Leafs perspective.
After tying the game on the power-play, the Leafs didn't do Samsonov any favors with their D zone coverage, but that third goal was still extremely weak.
Overall, I hate to pile on the guy after he's had a horrible season, but it's 100% clear he can't be starting games for this team anymore. You need a goalie you can rely on if you want to win the Stanley Cup, but the Leafs are not a tight defensive team. They have a terrible blue-line and an even worse bottom-six, so they desperately need an elite goalie to match their star players.
The fact that the team just had an entire week off and didn't get one single roster upgrade from their MIA GM is a joke. The Leafs have an emergency and need a goalie as soon as possible.