"I Almost Cried": Maple Leafs' Ilya Samsonov Following Shutout Victory

Maple Leafs goaltender, Ilya Samsonov, delivered an unforgettable performance in Wednesday's game against the Winnipeg Jets, leading his team to a 1-0 overtime victory.

This game marked a significant turnaround for Samsonov, who faced a challenging season, with his performance dropping to a save percentage of .862.

His resilience was evident as he stopped all 32 shots from the Jets, despite the Leafs being outshot 16-4 in the first period and facing six high-danger scoring chances.

The emotional highlight of the night came when the Leafs fans chanted Samsonov's name, a gesture that nearly moved him to tears.

When describing the experience in a postgame interview, Samsonov said "It's unbelievable, you know, like I almost cried", indicating how much the support meant to him.

This moment was a testament to his strong comeback, especially after being placed on waivers on New Year's Eve and spending time in the minors, where he worked with the performance staff and Marlies goalie coach Hannu Toivonen.

Since his recall, Samsonov has shown impressive form, with a .944 save percentage in three starts.

His performance in this game was particularly noteworthy, saving back-to-back shots on a crucial 2-on-0 rush in the second period.

Even Auston Matthews, who scored the winning goal, acknowledged Samsonov as the best player on the ice, praising his incredible gameplay. Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports