Can Matt Murray Be Trusted?

Saturday's meltdown leaves more doubt

The Fan Morning Show
February 25, 2019 - 11:15 am
Matt Murray allows goal vs. Flyers

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- On one hand, Matt Murray is a 2x Stanley Cup champion and has shown he's capable of being a steadying force behind a very talented roster in front of him. On the other hand, Matt Murray has been wildly inconsistent for most of two regular seasons now and his role in blowing a 3-1 lead against the Flyers Saturday night left a bad taste in the mouth of Pens fans everywhere.

As of Monday, the Penguins sit just outside the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference standings, tied with Carolina with 72 points on the year. A win and another point on Saturday would have put them that final Wild Card spot and would have left them tied with Columbus with 73 points for the 3rd spot in the Metro division. 

The Fan Morning Show talked about what the confidence level should be in Murray moving forward. As of now, Murray looks like a streaky goaltender that you don't quite know what you are going to get from. Colin Dunlap questions whether Murray will be consistent enough to carry the Penguins in the long run toward another Stanley Cup and said that this is who Murray is. He'll be hot for a while, look like an elite goaltender, but as soon as you gain full confidence in him he will have a few clunkers that leaves you questioning him.

Chris Mack said it drives you crazy because, as a fan, you know what Murray is capable of. We've seen him go out and be that rock in the playoffs and shine when the lights are the brightest. But you just don't get that version of Matt Murray night in and night out.

Jeff Hathhorn, filling in for Jim Colony this week who's in Bradenton covering Pirates Spring Training, said that he doesn't think of Murray as a top 5 goalie in the league. He looks at him like he looks at Carey Price. A good goalie, capable of playing at an elite level, but a guy who's going to go through rough patches and times where he doesn't look good. 

The question then becomes...can you really rely on that type of goalie come playoff time? Will we see that elite version of Murray once the "Stanley Cup Playoffs" logo gets painted on the ice?

As Penguins insider Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put it when he joined the show today:

"It's been the same tale this season for Murray, the inconsistency. He can be really, really good and then allow those kind of headscratchers."

As far as getting a goaltender before Monday's 3 pm trade deadline to push Murray a bit:

"They (the Penguins) felt like he hasn't been challenged and pushed enough as he was when Marc-Andre Fleury was here. That being said, if people are going to take that and say, 'Oh they should go get that guy again and bring him in here,' I'm not in line with that way of thinking. I don't think that going out and getting a '1a' for Murray is going to do anything except screw him up mentally. What do you do with Casey DeSmith? The answer is probably for Casey DeSmith to play a little bit better, but sooner or later we just can't continue to make excuses. This guy (Murray) needs to play better. He needs to play more consistent and he needs to be the guy who he's been. He's been an absolute horse that's put this team on his back. If they want to go anywhere he has to be that guy. They have to figure out how you rediscover him. He has played well when challenged but he needs to play well without being challenged, too. " 

Is the Penguins playoff fate solely in what they get from Matt Murray? 

You can hear the discussion about this on The Fan Morning Show below.            

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