Mitch Marner criticises Toronto Media for threatment of Samsonov

Graham Montgomery
April 6, 2024  (5:46 PM)

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner taking a shot during warmups
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov has had an up-and-down season this year. As a result, he has been the target of much criticism from the Toronto sports media. Now Mitch Marner is stepping up to defend his teammate.

On the season, Samsonov's numbers don't look very impressive. He has a .892 save percentage along with a 3.06 goals-against-average. In today's higher scoring environment, those numbers are not nearly as bad as they once were, but they are still significantly below average. Where Samsonov has excelled this season though is his record. In 36 starts with the Leafs, he's gone 21-6-7, earning 49 out of a possible 72 points. That's a .680 points percentage, better than the Leafs overall points percentage of .633. As such, he's made the team better when he's starting. For that reason, many Leafs players are not happy with the way he's been treated this season. Mitch Marner is the latest to voice his grievances with the media.
"Just like I spoke on before, I mean, I know I've said a lot of times, you guys are not kind to some people sometimes. And stuff gets said about a lot of people during tough stretches or tough moments and obviously that doesn't define one person. And what Ilya has done from coming back from the start of the season and just really taking us back into a great position, being the backbone of this team. It's been phenomenal and amazing to see."

Of course, Samsonov did go through a rough stretch early in the season. Despite his strong record, he was among the worst goalies in the league based on goals-saved-above-expected prior to the Holiday break. This is why the Leafs sent him to the American Hockey League for a brief stint to refine his game earlier in the year.
Since returning from the AHL, Samsonov has been one of the better goalies in the league. He still has a remarkable record with just 6 losses in regulation, virtually guaranteeing that the Leafs will get at least one point when he's in net. Lately, the media has certainly softened their stance on Samsonov as he's been better, but perhaps now it is time he starts getting the praise he deserves. He may not be the best goalie in the NHL, but he has certainly rounded into form as a top-ten starter, giving the Leafs confidence that they can win with him as their number one netminder going into the playoffs.
Source: Mapleleafsdaily
Mitch Marner lays into Toronto media over treatment of Ilya Samsonov
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Mitch Marner criticises Toronto Media for threatment of Samsonov

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