Pens Have Not Decided Postseason Starting Goalie

Sullivan said choice between Murray and Jarry is ‘difficult’

Jeff Hathhorn
July 30, 2020 - 6:30 am
Pens goalies

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – The Pens have a big decision to make and two days to do it.  The NHL season resumes with a five-game series between the Pens and Montreal Canadiens starting Saturday, head coach Mike Sullivan has yet to name a starting goalie.

Sullivan said he doesn’t want to give away how they make decisions, but he simply asks the coaching staff to make the best choice for the team, at every position.

“I guess it’s simple in nature,” Sullivan said of the selection, “but its difficult when you are in those types of situations and none of us has the luxury of having a crystal ball.”

Matt Murray has won a pair of Stanley Cups as he replaced Marc-Andre Fleury and now Tristan Jarry is trying to unseat Murray.

“That type of decision is never an easy decision because these players are both really good players and both very capable players,” Sullivan said.  “As a coach, my view on it, it’s a very difficult decision.”

“We haven’t been told anything,” Jarry said Wednesday.  “We are just taking it day-by-day.  Making sure our practice habits are staying where they need to be for Matt and I and just preparing like we both would be playing.  Whoever gets the call on Saturday, we will be ready.”

Murray started 38 games in this year’s regular season with 20 wins, a 2.87 GAA and .899 save percentage.   Jarry started 31 games with 20 wins, a 2.43 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

Jarry’s numbers are obviously better this season overall, but while Jarry has yet to appear in the post-season, Murray has started 47 career playoff games with 6 shutouts and a 2.16 GAA. 

Those numbers have waned in the last two playoff years.  Murray has lost six straight post-season games and 8 of 9 giving up a total of 25 goals in those eight losses.

“These guys want the net,” Sullivan said.  “They are very competitive guys.  I understand that.”

The Pens head coach said both have tracked well in training camp to this point.  Sullivan believes both played well in the exhibition game against the Flyers on Tuesday.

“These guys are good goaltenders,” Sullivan said.  “We know that they can both help us win games.  We are going to try to make the best decisions as a staff to win hockey games.”

If only he could get a hold of one of those crystal balls.

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