Toronto Maple Leaf Assumed Washed Up Now Looks Amazing
This player looked like a flash in the pan who had lost his way. Now he's finding success with Toronto.
Goaltending in the NHL might be the hardest potion in all of professional sports. You are truly on an island to yourself, trying to keep the other team from scoring. While your team is helping you, the pressure is always on. It takes a unique person and athlete to handle playing the position. As such, it's common for goaltenders to go through hot and cold streaks.
Matt Murray was one of the hottest goalies in the NHL when he came into the league for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He helped them win a Stanley Cup and won the Calder Trophy for rookie fo the year in his first full season in 2017.
Then things went downhill. Murray dealt with Concussion issues over the next 3 seasons. His stats also took a dip as a result. He was traded to Ottawa where he signed a hefty contract but didn't really live up to it. in fact, he was waved b the team at one point but no one claimed him because of the huge contract. It was a mess.
The Buffalo Sabres tried to trade for him, but he vetoed it as part of his no-trade clause. Eventually, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for him, which raised some eyebrows. The Leafs needed a replacement for departing goalie Jack Campbell but many wondered if Murray would be a suitable replacement, especially seeing his play had dropped off considerably over the past few years.
The gamble appears to be paying off, so far.
Murray posted his first shutout last night for the Leafs, 4-0 against the Dallas Stars. He's 6-1 on the year with a 2.34 GAA and a .932 save percentage: excellent numbers. The Leafs are having a great season as well. Excellent goaltending has made up for a number of injuries on defense as well.
Murray certainly has Leafs' fans and hockey analysts buzzing.