When it comes to the NHL, a team will only go as far as their goaltending can take them.
Look at what the Chicago Blackhawks experienced last season. They were without Crawford for most of the season and they ended up missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins seem to have a very injury prone netminder in 23-year-old Matt Murray. Murray, a two-time Cup winner, has already had several injuries thus far in his short career, as Hockey News writer Matt Larkin outlined in the linked piece in the previous sentence.
In February, Murray, 24, took a puck to the head and was diagnosed with a concussion.
This was not the only time he was hurt last season. In late November, he was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury when Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Jakub Voracek collided with him on a breakaway.
In the 2017 playoffs, Murray got hurt in warmups prior to Game 1 of their first-round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He did not come back till Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Ottawa Senators.
In April of 2016, he suffered a concussion in a collision with then-Flyers’ forward Brayden Schenn. He ended up missing the start of the playoffs that year.
Murray also broke his hand as a member of Team USA in the 2016 World Cup. He also missed some time that NHL season with a lower-body injury.
This is a young goaltender that keeps getting hurt. While these injuries are not his fault, it is very alarming just how often he is injured.
Yes, when between the pipes, Murray has performed very well. In 111 career games, Murray is 68-28-8 with a 2.58 GAA, .917 save percentage, and six shutouts.
Oh yeah, he is also a two-time Cup-winning goaltender. Not too many 24-year-old netminders have accomplished that, but Murray was able to in consecutive seasons.
The Pens and Murray need to come up with a game plan so that he can stop getting hurt so much because when he’s in net, the team is a fun one to watch.
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