When Matt Murray went down a week and a half ago, things did not look good. The Pittsburgh Penguins ended up getting good news as he is only expected to miss two-to-three weeks. This meant that Tristan Jarry was going to get most, if not all of, the starts leading up to Murray’s return. Here is a look at just how good Jarry has been in his first handful of NHL games.
Tristan Jarry Showing He Belongs
Jarry made his first start of the season after the Penguins waived Antti Niemi. They brought him up from Wilkes-Barre to face the Calgary Flames. He ended up losing that game 2-1 in overtime but made 32 of 34 saves. Jarry kept the Penguins in the game when they were not playing well. He then got the start in Nashville and gave up four goals in a shootout loss to the Predators. Ever since then, he has been on absolute fire.
Jarry has won five of his last six games he has appeared in net and has one shutout. He had to come in relief for Murray against the Philadelphia Flyers. He played well and kept the hope of a comeback alive during the game. The Penguins would make the comeback, winning in overtime. Jarry even got to start both games on a back-to-back against the Buffalo Sabres. He had a shutout the first game and then gave up one goal the next game. All told, he made 66 out of 67 saves combined. His game against the Tampa Bay Lightning though is the one that really stood out and showed that he belonged.
Shutting down the Lightning
The Penguins were on a back-to-back which has not been their specialty this season. Tampa Bay also was on a back-to-back. This was the first time the Penguins were playing a team that was not rested on a back-to-back. Jarry came into the game and helped preserve the Penguins lead. Tampa was pummeling Pittsburgh in their zone for some stretches during the game. Here is his best save of the night:
That is a save that not too many goaltenders would make on a nightly basis. According to Corsica.hockey, his LDSv% (low-danger save percentage) is 98.72 which is outstanding and his MDSv% is 93.75 which is also great. His high danger % at 76.67 is a bit low. All three numbers should be taken with a grain of salt given the sample size, but it is an impressive start to his career.
New York, New York
The only time Jarry has looked a little shaky was against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. However, some of those goals were not his fault. He allowed a squeaker of a goal to Mats Zuccarello to put the Rangers up 3-2. That has to be a save. He ended up having a great game against the New York Islanders as well despite Pittsburgh collapsing in the final five minutes. It was Jarry’s save in the overtime that sprung the game-winning goal as the Penguins had an odd-man rush going the other way (starts at 3:15). He was able to track the puck masterfully against Josh Bailey and come up with a huge save to give the Penguins a chance.
Overall, for this season, he has a .921 save percentage and a 2.39 goals-against average in the eight games he has played. He is going to play in his ninth game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This will be the sixth straight game he has appeared in. It will be a test as the Leafs are very good offensively. They average 3.4 goals per game which is top five in the league.
Even though it seems Matt Murray is getting closer to return, that does not mean Jarry should not still be getting his share of starts. He has shown through this stretch that he belongs in the NHL and is a capable goaltender.
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