Pittsburgh Penguins’ star goalie, Matt Murray, will miss the next 3-6 weeks with a broken hand. He suffered the injury while playing with team North America in the World Cup of Hockey, on September 19.
It was bad timing by Murray to get injured so close to the season. Preseason starts in three days, and the regular season starts in just three weeks.
Stellar Stanley Cup Run for Matt Murray
Murray and other star goalie Marc-Andre Fleury were expected to battle for the starting spot this season. Although Murray only played 13 regular season games last season, he did show his skill by going 9-2. What really earned him a chance at the starting spot, was his performance in the playoffs. Murray had the second most starts out of any goalie during the post season, with 21, behind only San Jose Sharks netminder Martin Jones. In those 21 starts, he posted an impressive record of 15-6.
Murray is only 22, but has shown that he probably has what it takes to be an NHL starter. However, with Fleury an already dominant role in Pittsburgh, Murray is going to have to show a lot more.
Injury Opens Door for Fleury
The injury does give Fleury a good chance of setting up a solid spot at the starter role, before Murray has a chance to contest it. If he can wow the Penguins early on in preseason and in the first few regular season games, he has a chance to reclaim the starting role, at least to start the season.
That doesn’t mean Murray is completely out of the race. It’s unlikely that this broken hand affects his game at all when he comes back, and he’ll be given a lot of playing time to prove his worth. If he continues the hot streak that he had last season, he can beat out Fleury for the starting spot, easily.
No matter where the goalies land, the breakup of games should be relatively even between the starter and the backup. Both goalies are extremely talented, and the Penguins shouldn’t struggle at all in between the pipes.