Penguins' Murray Looking Good Between the Pipes Moving Forward
By Patrick Hoffman
When it comes to Pittsburgh Penguins' goaltender Matt Murray, it can be said that he's had a very strange career.
For starters, he's already won two Cups and he's only 25-years-old. Murray did this in back-to-back seasons (2016-17) and was easily one of the team's best players in both of these postseasons.
Secondly, he's a guy that's also been hurt a lot. He's had a few concussions along with several other mysterious injuries that have shown that he is an extremely fragile netminder.
With all of that said, however, I believe that things are looking good for Murray moving forward. He had a solid regular season this past year and after faltering somewhat in this year's playoffs, he responded with a very strong showing in the World Championships in helping Team Canada to a silver medal.
In the regular season this year, Murray was 29-14-6 with a 2.69 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and four shutouts. Yes, his goals-against is elevated, but his save percentage and number of shutouts is impressive.
Yes, I realize he only played 50 games in the regular season due to a few injuries, but the good news is that when he came back, he was healthy. When he's healthy, he is one of the better and more consistent netminders in the league.
As mentioned above, he was also really good in the World Championships for Team Canada and played like an elite masked man throughout the tournament. He finished the international tournament with a 5-2 record and had a 2.01 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage to go along with one shutout.
Those numbers in the above paragraph are the kinds of numbers that Murray is more than capable of producing year in and year out. He's a big and agile goaltender who can make big saves when his team needs one and he can also win a lot of hockey games.
I am sure that despite winning two Cups, there are probably still several doubters regarding Murray. His detractors will point to his injury history, his recent performance in the playoffs, as well as his somewhat inconsistent play between the pipes. These reasons are all very understandable.
On the other hand, we have to remember that Murray is still young and that he has all the tools to be a great goaltender in this league. Heck, he already has two Cups!
It's time to give Murray another chance as things look good for him between the pipes moving forward
Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave.
He has previously covered the league for WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.