As expected, the Toronto Maple Leafs have activated Matt Murray from long-term injured reserve ahead of their matchup tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a pair of corresponding moves, Wayne Simmonds and Keith Petruzzelli have been returned to the minor leagues, according to CapFriendly.
Murray, 28, has played in just one game this season, allowing four goals on 23 shots. In his absence, the team had been running a duo of Ilya Samsonov and Erik Kalllgren until the former suffered an injury of his own, leaving the latter to handle the entire load. Petruzzelli, who earned an NHL contract just so the team would have two eligible goaltenders, did not see any action during his recall.
The Maple Leafs took a big gamble acquiring Murray this year, after injuries have ravaged his performance the last few years. When he takes the ice tonight he will be appearing in just his second NHL game since March 5, when he last played for the Ottawa Senators (and allowed eight goals on 31 shots).
It should, at least, be a familiar spot for him to try and get back on track. Murray spent the first five seasons of his career in Pittsburgh, posting a .914 save percentage over 199 regular season games and leading the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. It’s easy to forget just how well he played during those playoff runs, including posting three shutouts and a .937 save percentage in 11 games after returning from injury in 2017.
If the Maple Leafs could get that Murray back they might be one of the most dangerous teams in the league, but he hasn’t existed in recent years. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, Murray has a .898 save percentage in 86 games.