Matt Murray rises to the occasion

May 16, 2016

Through four up-and-down Ontario Hockey League seasons with the Soo Greyhounds, Matt Murray provided a few scattered snapshots that he had the makings of being a professional goalie.

Still, Murray showed more promise than actual deliverance.

Not until his fourth full OHL season with the Greyhounds — the 2013-2014 campaign — did Murray finish with a save percentage above the watershed .900 mark. And despite winning 32 games during the ’13-14 season and taking the Soo into the second round of the OHL playoffs, Murray never seemed to win over the majority of Greyhound fans.

But if Murray was so-so as an OHL goalie, he certainly has elevated his game since turning pro in the fall of 2014.

Bursting onto the minor-pro scene with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, Murray put up numbers like he never did with the Greyhounds.

The lanky 6-foot-4, 180-pound puck-stopper, who hails from the gritty northwestern Ontario town of Thunder Bay, fashioned a 25-10-3 record with an eye-popping .941 save percentage and an equally-astounding 1.58 goals against average over the course of the 2014-2015 season at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

It was a season that may have convinced management of the Pittsburgh Penguins that they had a good one afterall in Murray, who they had selected in the third round of the 2012 National Hockey League draft.

Murray’s rookie season at the pro level has not proven to be a one-hit wonder.

After beginning the current 2015-2016 season at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Murray had a 20-9-1 record with a .931 save percentage and 2.10 goals against average before being summoned to Pittsburgh.

And in Pittsburgh, Murray has been nothing short of top-flight.

He fashioned a 9-2 record with a .930 save percentage and 2.00 goals against average following his recall from the minors and he has carried that level of high performance into the NHL playoffs, which are now in their third round.

Subbing for injured starter Marc-Andre Fleury, Murray has a 7-3-1 record to go with a .929 save percentage and 2.15 goals against average thus far in the playoffs.

To be sure, it’s been quite the rise in fortunes for the former Greyhound goalie.

PHOTO: Former Soo Greyhound Matt Murray, in action for the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by USA Today.)

What you think about “Matt Murray rises to the occasion”

  1. Tim,

    Check out his stats for first three years in the OHL and combine with the fourth = so-so goalie, in my opinion. Besides, the article is about his rise in prominence. Do you have any issue with that?

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