I’ve been seeing this question a lot on social media since the end of training camp. It’s probably a question that needs to be answered.
And that answer is “no”.
For those who haven’t been keeping track, Ilya Samsonov played three games and finished with a 2.96 GAA and .879 save percentage. Joseph Woll played two games and finished with a 4.83 GAA and .870 save percentage. Our best goalie in preseason was actually Martin Jones, with a 1.57 GAA and .939 save percentage, but he’s cleared waivers and is (presumably) heading down to the Marlies.
Now in a bubble, those numbers don’t look great. In fact, they look downright terrible. But there is one big reason we shouldn’t be panicking right now: it’s preseason.
This is the time that players are taking to warm up, shake off rust, get their heads and bodies back into game shape, and overall just get ready for the season. The games don’t mean anything, and for that reason, many players don’t give 100% during these games.
Remember that the regular season is 82 games long, plus the Leafs are hoping for a long playoff run. That could be as many as 110 games between now and June. That’s a LOT of hockey. The players are definitely not going to play as hard as they can in the couple of preseason games they have.
I can see the argument that people are making: Samsonov has never been a true #1 goalie…Woll is a kid with only a handful of NHL games…
But people…It’s preseason. Let’s wait a couple of months before we decide that the sky is falling.