Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray has been criticized for many things, but playing too much has never been one of those. Regardless, Murray has seen the ice quite a bit already this season and if he continues to play as much as he has, Murray will easily break his season-high in minutes played. Last season, the 25-year-old netminder played 2,880 minutes, but Murray has already broken 1,000 minutes at just the quarter-point of the season.
While it’s nice to see Murray thriving without injury concerns, TribLive’s Seth Rorabaugh wonders whether the team might be smarter to cut down on Murray’s workload, considering how well backup Tristan Jarry has played in limited opportunity. While Murray has been solid with a injury-plagued team in front of him, boasting a 2.60 GAA and a .903 save percentage in 18 appearances, the 24-year-old Jarry has done even better with a 1.80 GAA and a .945 save percentage in six appearances.
With the team only using Jarry on the second night of back-to-back games, it might be time to give the backup more playing time in hopes of avoiding wearing down Murray later in the season.
- Although the expansion draft remains far off, the summer of 2021, The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor (subscription required) looks at possible scenarios of who the team might protect down the road. He notes that with the signing of center Kevin Hayes, who carries a no-movement clause with him, and the emergence of Oskar Lindblom, the team may have to make a major decision with their defense. The scribe writes that with the disappointing play of defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who continues to struggle this year after a poor 2018-19 season, could find himself on the outside looking in when it comes to what players the Flyers may keep.
- In her most recent mailbag, The Athletic’s Sara Civian (subscription required) writes that Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jake Gardiner, who the team quietly signed in the offseason, continues to struggle as a third-pairing option. With fewer minutes than he is used to, the risk-taking blueliner has made quite a few defensive miscues as the team has scored 10 goals when he’s on the ice, but the Hurricanes have allowed 19 at the same time. Gardiner has just one goal and five assists, while sporting just a 3.7 percent shooting percentage on 27 shots. The hope is he can eventually work his way to a second-pairing option.