The guards have not finished talking about the Leafs

As is regularly the case with the Montreal Canadiens, goaltenders are a recurring topic of discussion around the Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2022-2023 season will be no exception to the rule.

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They will once again want to achieve success during the regular season, but above all to win their first playoff series since 2004.

The many failures of the past have often been justified by the absence of a goalkeeper capable of pulling the chestnuts out of the fire at the crucial moment.

However, during the summer, the Leafs said goodbye to Jack Campbell, while getting their hands on Ilya Samsonov and Matt Murray.

Some observers are already expressing their skepticism about these hirings.

However, the club’s players place all their trust in their trusted men in net. In the case of Murray, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he has the opportunity to breathe new life into his career which has taken the lead in the wing.

“I’ve been in the National League for a long time and I haven’t had the opportunity to make long runs in the playoffs. So I want to see a guy like him at work and take advantage of his experience to learn from it, because he’s been there and succeeded. Counting on a man who has won two cups and acted as a starter is a very good asset,” defender Mark Giordano told the Toronto Sun daily.

“Think about it. He played with a teammate who is not easy to dislodge; [Marc-André] Fleury is one of the best on the circuit and Murray has probably gained a lot of experience from there. At one point he was No. 1 in Pittsburgh, which says a lot,” he added.

Insurance policy

In addition to Murray, who should play two periods of Wednesday’s preseason game against the Habs, and Samsonov, hired as a free agent, the Leafs have Erik Kallgren under their aegis.

Having played nearly fifteen games with the big club at the end of the campaign, he will be ready to take over in the event of a problem.

« With Murray and Samsonov coming in, he’s kind of the forgotten guy, but he’s here and played well for us last year, » head coach Sheldon Keefe said. When we had some trouble and we couldn’t have any stability in that position, he came in and gave us the confidence to win.

“We haven’t forgotten that. […] It will be a challenge to send him in front of the net often during the preseason schedule, because the other two guys will take on a good workload. On the other hand, it is important to continue working with him and Curtis Sanford [instructeur des gardiens] to build their relationship. You never know what the season holds. He’s moving forward and will want to do his best when the opportunity presents itself,” Keefe said.


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