The goalie situation in Pittsburgh has hit yet another episode. The Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury was pulled in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals after allowing 4 goals on just 9 shots. Matt Murray was called on in relief of MAF and allowed only 1 goal on 20 shots faced. After the Pens dropped game 3, 5-1, game 4 had all goalie drama leading into it. Head coach Mike Sullivan decided to switch things up in net, giving Matt Murray his first start in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Murray looked sharp, stopping 18 of 20 shots, and leading the Pens to a 3-2 victory and ultimately tying the series at 2 games a peace.
Sullivan stuck with Murray as his guy for game 5, and it proved to be the right call yet again. Murray backstopped the Pens to a dominating 7-0 win, and taking their first lead of the series going up 3-2 into game 6 on Tuesday night.
The question moving forward is, who is the starting goalie? This is a question that penguin’s fans have been asking themselves all season.
MAF has been lights out this postseason, and you could argue that the Penguins are not in the ECF without his stellar play. Fleury’s 2017 postseason stats read as:
Save %- .924
Fleury is posting even better numbers this year than he did in 2009 when he led the team to their first Stanley Cup in the “Crosby Era”
Fleury’s one hiccup this postseason came in game 3, and Murray took advantage of the situation.
Murray, who is 7-2 in his last 9 postseason starts, appears to be “the guy” for HCMS moving forward.
Murray has proven to be a big-time player. Still considered a rookie, Murray’s career playoff stats read as (Before game 6 ECF 2017):
Save %- .927
Not only Murray, but the entire team always plays well following a loss, so heading into game 7 the team and city should be buzzing with confidence to see the Pens in the SCF in back to back years.
As far as the rest of the playoffs go, I believe that Sullivan will ride out Murray. He seems to have confidence in Murray being the guy moving forward this postseason and into next year.
I have full confidence in both MAF and Murray leading this team to their 2nd cup in as many years.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the closing weeks of the season, and into the off season.