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2020-21 Rink Wrap: Ilya Samsonov

From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2020-21 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2021-22. Next up, Ilya Samsonov.

NHL: MAY 21 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round - Capitals at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Stats:

Regular Season


The Charts:

via Evolving-Hockey
via HockeyViz

The Key Stat: Samsonov did not get to start more than two games in a row all season. He played a total of two in a row four times, the rest were single games. That’s a lot of inconsistency for a goalie the Capitals want to make their starter of the future. Of course you can crap on Samsonov for getting injured off ice last year and getting Covid twice in the season this year, but if Capitals want to see what their starter of the future can do they have to give him a lot more games in a row, whether he struggles or not. Young players, especially goalies, need consistency in playing time if you want to get consistent results.

The Good: When Samsonov was in the lineup you could see the high end tools he possessed. He can read plays and shots like a 10 year vet. Then when things would get dicey he had the freak athleticism to stop the unstoppable puck. When you put everything together it’s a great package that has the potential to be a top goalie in the league for years to come.

The Bad: The flip side to that is no matter how well he played he tended to have one big goof a game that resulted in a goal against. It may not seem like much to give up that one extra goal a game but the Metro division is going to be a bloodbath next season and every point will count. That extra goal can mean one or two less points a game. Now, these goofs could be due to the inconsistent playing time so maybe the easy fix is just playing him more.

The Video:

The Discussion: How do you feel about Samsonov being the starter next season? Does his off ice shenanigans concern you? Or is it chalked up to a young kid still learning? And finally, what would it take for you to give Samsonov a 10 next season?

The Vote: Rate Ilya Samsonov below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.


How do you rate Ilya Samsonov’s 2020-21 season?

This poll is closed

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    (1 vote)
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  • 6%
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    (12 votes)
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    (17 votes)
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    (17 votes)
  • 21%
    (27 votes)
  • 23%
    (29 votes)
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    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    (3 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now