Hot take: Matt Murray will determine how far the Pens go this season

Discussion in 'Pittsburgh Penguins' started by cassius, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. cassius

    cassius Registered User

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    I know some folks have soured on Murray in recent years, but I would push back against that sentiment.

    Look - I get that this is a "what have you done for me lately" type of league, but let's not forget the following..

    - Matt Murray won 2 Stanley cups in his first 2 seasons as a pro
    - Matt Murray is #14 all time in terms of playoff sv % (0.923)
    - Matt Murray's playoff GAA (2.08) is #6th all time in the modern NHL area (trailing guys like Hasek, Brodeur)
    - Perhaps the most critical point.. Matt Murray emergence jettisoned a headcase goalie from the Pens franchise, which coincided with 2 stanley cups victories and many clutch victories down the stretch and ended years of choking
    - The guy is only 24 years old with tons of hockey ahead of him


    Look - I get that he has had a rough past year or so, but let's not forget that the guy is still young and has already done amazing things in his career. He is capable of doing even more going forward, as he showed last night against the Caps.

    I think we can all agree that Murray plays his best hockey in big pressure situations such as the Stanley Cup playoffs, unlike Fleury. Some players are choke artists and some are winners. Matt Murray is firmly in the latter category.

    It's no coincidence that the Penguins didn't go far in the playoffs when their goaltending was weak (Fleury years)... and they won 2 Stanley cups in a row when their goaltending was strong (Murray years).

    My take is that Murray will determine how far the Pens go this season. If he can get back to his previous level of performance, I think the Pens are a serious contender to win the cup. However, if he falters or has another off year, I do think the Pens are in for an early playoff exit in either the 1st or the 2nd round.

    Long story short: the success of the Pens rests squarely on the shoulders of Murray
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  2. Empoleon8771

    Empoleon8771 Go Knights Go

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    This is the coldest hot take I think I've ever seen. No duh the success of a defensively challenged team depends on their goalie.
     
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  3. cassius

    cassius Registered User

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    Around here - all I see is talk about slumping offensive stars, bad defense etc... Haven't seen much discussion about goaltending.

    IMO, goaltending is really the key thing that determines the Pens success this year, not offense or defense.

    When Murray plays lights out like he did last night (against an EXTREMELY strong goaltending in Holtby), this team is unstoppable.
     
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  4. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    Breaking News- Hockey teams do better when goalies perform well

    Related Story- Collective "Ohhhhhhh" heard from the direction of Edmonton
     
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  5. IcedCapp

    IcedCapp IcedCapp the White (whipped cream)

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    I think it's a cold take in reality, but the way some people were talking about CDS, i think this could be a polarized blizzard/dante's inferno take
     
  6. cassius

    cassius Registered User

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    Can you point me to the threads on this forum that talk about goaltending and how it's perhaps the most critical factor to the post-season success of the Pens?
     
  7. EightyOne

    EightyOne Here we ****ing go, again!

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    I kinda hated Murray recently, and will be glad if he improves upon his crap last year and start of this year.

    He can't be the 35th worst goalie in the league.
     
  8. Winger for Hire

    Winger for Hire Praise Beebo

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    Lets worry about making the postseason first.
     
  9. pixiesfanyo

    pixiesfanyo Registered User

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    I think 80% of this forum has said we need goaltending to get back to normal.

    That being said the league SV% average is .908.
     
  10. Solzhenitsyn

    Solzhenitsyn Registered User

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    Nature of the position so.. ya
     
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  11. Peat

    Peat Registered User

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    The state of our goaltending is one of the biggest factors in how well we'll do regular season too. And maybe the most uncertain.


    The problem is what's there to talk about? We all know its really important but there's not a lot of options here. There's been some talk about potential trade candidates, some on the strengths of CdS vs Murray... but really, there's just not a lot to say. We need good goaltending. DeSmith has been a very pleasant surprise so far but there's not a lot of clues as to how he'd do if starting in the play-offs. Murray is certainly capable of it but between the form and fitness wobbles, there's not a lot of clues as to who'll turn up. And the trade market has possibilities but no great ones; certainly not worth talking a lot about.

    There's a lot of potential options for improving the forwards and the defence. Not so many for the goaltending.
     
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  12. The Old Master

    The Old Master Registered User

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    it depends on how much the smaller pad size is affecting him. imo
     
  13. MetalheadPenguinsFan

    MetalheadPenguinsFan Disco Is Dead!!!

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    Agreed.
     
  14. 42

    42 Registered User

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    DeSmith is taking over the starting job. Why couldn't he be the one doing the determining?
     
  15. Brandinho

    Brandinho deng xiaoping gang

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    Because he doesn't have the ceiling that Murray does. Matt Murray, in form, is the kind of goalie who can absolutely carry a weak defensive team against the best of the best. You could never convince me that DeSmith is also capable of that level of performance.
     
  16. 42

    42 Registered User

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    We'll see. DeSmith has been much better so far this season.
     
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  17. Brandinho

    Brandinho deng xiaoping gang

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    I sincerely hope we don't see. Our best team is one with Murray performing at a high level. It'd be great if his last game is the precursor to a return to form because we need him.
     
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  18. vikingGoalie

    vikingGoalie Registered User

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    We went as far as Murray could take us last season. He was pedestrian against the Caps, we get .923 goal tending and we win that series every time. That said it's not a done deal that Murray will be our guy in the post season, or that we are done without him.

    I for one am really big on DeSmith. I love how this kid moves in the crease and his athleticism and his glove hand. Murray can get us results, but even last game against the caps he looked pretty awkward at times and had a post where he was beat clean and 2 that leaked through. I won't say he had a bad game, goalies often get a little luck when they are playing well. I'm just saying one of those leakers goes in and we lose in OT or something like that and we have a much different view on his game.

    DeSmith isn't without his warts, but at this moment in time DeSmith is the better goalie. I will not be shocked if that remains the case come April. I certainly would be happy to be wrong because if Murray is beating out DeSmith when CDC is literally a driving force behind us winning games that bodes well for us.

    Triva time. who has a higher career save percentage? Answer. Desmith at .924, murray for his career is at .914.
    DeSmith is tied for 5th in save percentage league wide and it's not a mirage or a mistake. I know goalie talent when I see it. DeSmith has it, he is a starter in the NHL right now and we would be idiots to not extend him soon.
     
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  19. Pancakes

    Pancakes Registered User

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    I dunno if you can point to any one thing. When Maf melted down in the playoffs we lost even though our stars produced. Yet there was also a series vs the Bruins where I recall us losing some tight ones (aside from game 1) where our goaltending was good but our stars silent.

    Hockey is a team game. If our goaltending sucks, we'll lose. If it's good but Geno can't score, we'll still probably lose over a full series.

    We need everybody. Every Cup we won we had full team contributions.
     
  20. zero8771

    zero8771 Registered User

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    I agree completely.

    When I look back at how I felt about murray at the end of the 2017 cup, I thought Murray was a guy that could steal series and be the difference in a cup run on a regular basis.

    I don't feel like that right now, in fact it almost seems strange to think about him like that now. But if he puts a few months of solid play together I'll start to believe.

    I think our team with a prime Murray and + Schulz and a Dman and our team is scary
     
  21. Riikolas Revenge

    Riikolas Revenge Registered User

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    There is no evidence to support your theory that CDS will fail at crunch time and that he can't steal a series the way he's been stealing games lately. It's baseless. Same goes for that "ceiling" nonsense. He's been consistently excellent since coming to Pittsburgh.

    And as much as people talk about ceilings, Murray's FLOOR is much lower than CDS's. We've seen it the last 14 months. So that matters too.

    I understand that there's fervent Murray loyalists after what he did for us, but you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that there can be another excellent goalie on the same roster. Just because you earnestly want DeSmith to be an AHL caliber goalie for us so that Murray can be the clear #1, that doesn't make it reality. You need to move into the acceptance phase. It's time now.
     
  22. Patric Hornqvist

    Patric Hornqvist Registered User

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    I believe Murray had the best stats against the Capitals of any of the goaltenders they faced.
     
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  23. Patric Hornqvist

    Patric Hornqvist Registered User

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    This strikes me as a pretty disingenuous representation of some of the comments about DeSmith we've seen in this thread. And elsewhere, for that matter.
     
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  24. Penguin Suited Up

    Penguin Suited Up Registered User

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    1. We haven’t seen DeSmith’s floor.

    2. Nobody knows the full extent to which injuries and personal issues affected Murray’s goaltending over the past year.

    3. And most importantly, sample size. Desmith has played a small amount of games in the NHL. It’s not “time to accept” anything regarding a goalie that has played a handful of games in the league. It takes about 3,000 shots to begin to determine a reliable save percentage for a goalie. Desmith has faced 1000.

    That being said, Desmith has posted a stellar save percentage during his tenure, so anyone claiming goaltending to be the issue here is missing the obvious issues with this defensive group. How the Pens have failed to give the defensive roster any legitimate attention since it was so glaringly a problem even during the 2016-2017 season is a mystery to me.
     
  25. EightyOne

    EightyOne Here we ****ing go, again!

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    DeSmith is almost three years older (27).

    Murray has more NHL playoff games than DeSmith has NHL games.

    Just some facts.
     

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