One year ago, young Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray had to start in the playoffs for the Penguins after Marc-Andre Fleury became injured. At the time, Murray had played just 13 regular season games and although he was a highly-touted prospect, few could have predicted the run he went on.
In the end, Murray led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup championship.
This year, Murray was the one who became injured. He was set to start Game 1 for the Penguins against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but appeared to tweak his groin in pre-game warmups as he slid from one side of the crease to the other. Murray hasn’t been back since and Fleury has led the Pens to a 2-0 series lead with 21-year-old Tristan Jarry serving as his backup.
According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, the Penguins may not be getting Murray back at all in Round 1.
“Sullivan the head coach of Pittsburgh says there is a timetable for Murray to return, just not a public one. You certainly get a sense watching this…that this is not a day-to-day situation here.
“He may be done at least for the rest of this series,” Kypreos said.
Former NHL goalie Kelly Hrudey believes the injury is due to a lack of preparation.
“At first blush when I look at it, I go this certainly looks like a severe injury, but why is that happening? He’s not preparing properly, he’s not stretching enough.”
The 22-year-old Murray posted 32 wins a .923 save percentage, and 2.41 goals-against average in the regular season. By NHL rules, he is still considered a rookie.