Maple Leafs goalie Samsonov

Toronto Maple Leafs' goalie taking blame for embarassing Game 1 playoff loss

With a blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Toronto Maple Leafs started the 2023 playoffs on an embarrassing note. While there were no smiles in the home locker room after the game, no one is blaming themselves more, perhaps, than starting goalie Ilya Samsonov.

"I will be better. I played like sh*t today," the Russian netminder said bluntly after the game.

He'll have to be much better if he wants to keep his team in this series.

After allowing a goal less than two minutes into Game 1, things went from bad to worse for Samsonov on Tuesday night. The Lightning took a 3-0 lead after just 20 minutes while the Leafs were booed off the ice by their home crowd for intermission.

The 26-year-old went on to allow six goals on 29 shots. Back-up goaltender Joseph Woll replaced him at the start of the third period. Woll let one in, and the game concluded with a final score of 7-3.

Samsonov has just one victory in eight career playoff starts, dating back to his time with the Washington Capitals.

With the Lightning scoring three of their seven goals on the powerplay, captain John Tavares blamed the loss on a lack of discipline.

"We just took too many penalties, and obviously, that really took our opportunity out of the game tonight," Tavares told reporters. "You've got to have a short memory and turn the page."

When asked whether he would bring in Woll to start Game 2, head coach Sheldon Keefe gave reporters a vague response, saying, "It's too early to know."

Game 2 of the series will take place at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday at 7 pm ET.

Lead photo by

Toronto Maple Leafs / Twitter

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