Matt Murray makes his return to the crease as the Senators take on the Jets
The Senators veteran goaltender struggled to find his groove early in the NHL season and then was sidelined for nearly a month with an upper-body injury, but he makes his much-anticipated return tonight.
Player to Watch: Matt Murray
Murray was Pierre Dorion’s biggest acquisition during the 2020 offseason as he dealt a 2nd round pick and prospect Jonathan Gruden for the prized goaltender, but the results haven’t been there so far this season.
Murray 26, has appeared in 22 games for the Senators this season carrying a 7-12-1 record with a 0.880 Save percentage and a 3.84 goals-against-average, numbers that will have to improve if he wants to live up to his lucrative 4-year $25 million contract signed following the trade. Murray’s -20.9 Goals Saved Above Expected ranks dead last in the NHL, trailing just behind struggling goaltenders Carter Hart, Thomas Greiss and Brian Elliott.
However, there is reason to believe that Murray’s game will improve as the Senators have iced a much better team over the course of the last month as they’ve continued their youth movement. The Senators also hired a new goaltending coach by the name of Zac Bierk, with the main object in mind to improve the play of Murray. D.J. Smith made this clear when he first addressed the change:
DJ Smith – We wanted to get Zac Bierk here now to start a relationship with Murray and Hogberg. Gotta get these guys going. Murray is very important to the future of this team. Zac is a guy who has played and understands what its like to try and get your game back and battle.
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) April 7, 2021
A solid performance tonight by Murray would silence some of the concerns with his play and would act as a perfect segway as he and the team embarks on an important stretch to finish the season.
News & Notes
- D.J. Smith stated that the team will roll with the same skaters they iced in their previous game
DJ Smith – Same lineup as the last game.
Matt Murray will start tonight.
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) April 14, 2021
- This means no Jacob Bernard-Docker or Shane Pinto for the Senators again tonight but the expectation is they will appear in Saturday’s game in Montreal
Would guess that Pinto and Bernard-Docker play Saturday against Montreal. #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) April 13, 2021
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2020-21 Season Stats: 22 GP, 7-12-1, 0.880 SV%, 3.84 GAA
Murray’s last start was on March 10th versus the Edmonton Oilers where he stopped 29/36 shots in a 7-1 loss.
2020-21 Season Stats: 9 GP, 5-3-1, 0.914 SV%, 2.63 GAA
Brossoit makes his 2nd start versus the Senators this season, his previous one coming in a 4-3 overtime win stopping 38/41 shots. The Jets backup’s last start was on March 27th versus the Calgary Flames, stopping 29/33 shots in a 4-2 loss.