Matt Murray, Anton Forsberg
This seems like a make-or-break season for the Senators number one goaltender Matt Murray after he struggled immensely in his debut season in Ottawa. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native posted a 0.893 save percentage and a 3.38 goals-against-average in 27 games in the nations capital last season, struggling to find any semblance of consistency for the greater part of the season. However, with a full offseason under his belt, plus an improved team in front of him, there’s plenty of reasons for Murray to return to his old form.
When the franchise made the switch from Pierre Groulx to Zac Bierk as the team’s goaltending coach, Murray started to find his game, producing great numbers in the final month of the season.
If Murray can continue the solid play that he showed at the end of last season, there’s no doubt that this team can get off to a much better start in 2021-22.
After being claimed off waivers in the middle of last season, Anton Forsberg did everything he could to earn another contract with the Senators and that he did. While his numbers certainly weren’t eye-popping (0.909 SV%, 3.21 GAA), it seemed like in every game that Forsberg played the Senators had a chance to win, and that’s all you can ask out of your goaltenders. D.J. Smith has made it known on multiple occasions how much he appreciates Forsberg’s work ethic and professionalism, he will be a great role model for the Senators younger wave of goalies.
Not to be lost in the shuffle, Filip Gustavsson factors into this conversation too, he was far-and-away the Senators best goalie last season, posting an absurd 0.933 save percentage and 2.16 goals-against average. If either Murray or Forsberg struggle, the Senators will be quick to pull the trigger on elevating Gustavsson to the NHL roster.