Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray is back with the team on the active roster after suffering a concussion less than a week ago, but will serve as the backup to Casey DeSmith for tonight’s game in Montreal, according to Seth Rorabaugh of The Athletic (subscription required). Third-stringer Tristan Jarry traveled with the team in case Murray cannot serve as backup.
Head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t surprised that Murray was ready to return from a concussion after just a few days.
“And the reason is, it’s really hard to compare one concussion to the next,” Sullivan explained. “The nature of that injury is that they’re all different. Some guys recover very quickly. With some guys, it lingers. There’s so many things associated with it.”
Murray has struggled in the two games he has appeared in this year, having allowed 11 goals, but Sullivan believes that sitting Murray on the bench rather than sitting in the press box is the best thing for his recovery.
“When you see the game up close on the bench, it’s a whole different game than it is from the press box,” Sullivan said. “Things happen a whole lot faster. It’s one step in the process that we think prepares our goalies to be successful when they step back on the ice.”
- David Isaac of the Courier Post writes that Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall isn’t opposed to the team keeping three goaltenders when injured backup Michal Neuvirth returns to the lineup, which is “not too far away.” The team has had quite a bit of success with the tandem of Brian Elliott and Calvin Pickard, but the team would have to expose someone to waivers if they want to keep just two goalies on the roster. “We’ll have to deal with that at the time,” Hextall said when asked if he intends on carrying three goalies on his roster. “It’s not an ideal situation, but if that’s what’s right for our hockey club, that’s what we’ll do. All these injuries, we have a roster issue. Thankfully we don’t have a (salary) cap issue. We’ll deal with it at the time and see what information comes to us between now and then and make a decision.”
- Jordan Samuels-Thomas of The Athletic (subscription required) profiles Toronto Maple Leafs top-line winger Kasperi Kapanen and how he’s found chemistry with the team’s top line while William Nylander holds out for a contract extension. Kapanen’s effort, well-rounded game and speed have made him a perfect fit alongside Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau.
- MLive’s Steve Kaminski writes that Detroit Red Wings prospect Filip Zadina is starting to get hot in Grand Rapids after posting a two-goal game in his third appearance for the AHL club. “I am getting better every single game, and I’m way more comfortable than I was when I played the first game,” the sixth-overall pick in this year’s draft said. “(The goals) helped me a lot mentally, and I am more confident with the puck.”