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Maple Leafs’ Samsonov misses practice with illness, Murray ‘progressing well’

The goaltender news continues to roll in for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters Friday that goaltender Ilya Samsonov was absent from practice with an illness, and that they will wait for an update from him tomorrow before determining who starts Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Samsonov has been Toronto’s go-to man between the pipes as of late, with Matt Murray being placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. The 25-year-old has won his past two starts, including a 30-save shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets last Friday.

Keefe also provided an update on Murray’s status.

“I think he’s progressing well,” Keefe told reporters. “He has been putting in some consistent work. Ankle is still not at the point where it’s allowing him to do everything that’s required to play goal in terms of his movements.”

However, when asked if there was any update on a timeline for Murray’s return, Keefe had a very short response:


Murray hasn’t played since Jan. 17 when he was pulled early after giving up four goals on eight shots to the Boston Bruins. He was placed on injured reserve back on Feb. 9.

Outside of the crease, Keefe said defenceman Justin Holl will return to the lineup and Connor Timmins will draw out.

With Murray injured, the Maple Leafs called up 24-year-old netminder Joseph Woll to serve as Samsonov’s backup. In his only start this season, Woll stopped 36 of 40 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jackets.

Woll will be in line against the Canadiens to start should Samsanov be unable to go due to his illness.

You can watch the Maple Leafs take on the Canadiens Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada live on Sportsnet and SN NOW at 7:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. PT.


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