Matt Murray is struggling to stay healthy in 2016-17, so Pittsburgh turns to Marc-Andre Fleury once again. A solid showing in Murray’s absence could help the veteran find a new home.
Pens netminder Matt Murray began the 2016-17 season on the injured reserve with a broken hand. He’s been one of the NHL‘s top goaltenders since returning in November collecting wins in 13 of 19 appearances.
Unfortunately, Murray suffered another injury on Wednesday night in a game versus Carolina. He went down with a lower-body injury late in the second period and is now considered week-to-week.
Prior to the injury, Murray picked up right where he left off after winning the Stanley Cup. He maintained a record of 13-3-1, with a 2.18 goals against average, and a 0.928 save percentage. He was running away with the starting gig, and seemed to be ready for a full-time role for the rest of the season.
Marc-Andre Fleury is no slouch, but father time is surely catching up. However, with Murray injured, Fleury is back in the spotlight as the Penguins number one goaltender. he did the same thing to start the season and should provide similar production as the new year begins.
Fleury is 11-5-4 with 20 starts this season, and has a 3.13 goals against average with a 0.908.
As long as he stays healthy and maintains a strong level of consistency, Fleury should find success as the interim starter. Needless to say, the supporting staff will help carry the load.
Penguins are just too good
Even with losing their prized goaltender, the Penguins have so much going for them. Not only is Fleury a solid second option, but Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are playing some of their best hockey. They have a great defensive group coming together, and the depth at forward needs no introduction.
Tristan Jarry should get the call-up to play second fiddle to Fleury. He is playing well in the AHL, and was a second round draft pick in 2013. He is sporting a 2.15 goals against average and 0.921 save percentage with a 13-5-0 record.
The Penguins are the best team in the NHL with 53 points and a 24-8-5 record. They show no signs of slowing down, and should continue their dominance barring any more serious injuries. The resurgence of Justin Schultz has revamped the Penguins power play, and their ability to score from the back-end makes them a threat against anyone.