Former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna gives his Daily face-to-face Start of the goalkeeper match of the day for Friday. February 10, 2023:
Why I love this game:
This happens every year: the guardians start to heat up and then come down to earth. That’s what happened to Samsonov in the Leafs crease. But not Korpisalo, who has managed to bring Columbus some impressive wins this season despite the Blue Jackets’ injury-ridden roster.
To monitor :
Both goalkeepers are looking to bounce back. Samsonov allowed five goals against the Boston Bruins in his last outing. Korpisalo conceded four against the Washington Capitals. But both of those games came before the bye week for every goaltender.
I liked Samsonov’s game this year. When playing with swagger, he can be intimidating to opponents. But I still think Samsonov’s game is loose around the edges. Not the most accurate keeper. So for him, it’s about following and trust. And behind a high-octane offense like the Maple Leafs, Samsonov knows his team can score from any deficit. I think it was a major boost for the Russian keeper.
As difficult as the season has been for the Blue Jackets, Korpisalo has been a good story. His .906 save percentage doesn’t draw much attention, but it’s remarkable considering how much better he was than fellow goalkeeper Elvis Merzlikins. Add to that, Korpisalo had just undergone major surgery in the offseason, and his game hadn’t been up to par for several years.
I think Korpisalo tends to chase the game more than he should. But as a pure puck blocker, his natural ability is really high. He competes. Korpisalo received a one-year contract from Columbus in the offseason, so I’m curious to see where he ends up next season. Or if a team catches him by the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline.
What fantasy owners should do:
Samsonov is a lock against the Blue Jackets. A win is likely. Korpisalo should only start if your team needs saves. The Blue Jackets are giving up a ton of shots.
Conclusion for Ilya Samsonov:
A simple and regular goalkeeper from now on.
Conclusion for Joonas Korpisalo:
He is showing up for future work in the NHL. It’s a very important time of year for the Finnish goalkeeper.