Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – “The regular season is about getting to the playoffs,” Murray said during our chat Monday after practice. “You may win an individual award during the season, but who really gives a [darn] about that?
“It’s about winning as a team and winning championships. That’s what you want to do as a player. That’s what gets remembered. That’s what means something to you, going through that with your teammates.
“Not winning an MVP of the regular season or anything like that. That’s what we’re all here for – to win championships.”
If these quotes don’t make you wanna run through a goddamn wall right this very second, then there’s something wrong with you.
If not, I get it (well, sort of). Matt Murray didn’t exactly have his best season this year. In fact, his regular season was forgettable at best for a variety of reasons. Starting with the obvious, Murray finished the 2017-2018 regular season with a 27-16-3 record in 49 games paired with a 2.92 GAA and .907 save percentage, ranking him 33rd and 37th in the NHL amongst eligible goaltenders, respectively. Those aren’t exactly the type of numbers that would give most fanbases (especially ours) confidence in their starting goaltender going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Regular season statistics aside, Murray also dealt with his fair share of adversity over the 2017-2018 campaign. Most notably, he lost his father, Jim, in January. But then there were also the injuries that seem to have plagued Murray every so often ever since he first entered the league in 2016. In November, he sustained a lower body injury that put him on the shelf for a weeks, which trickled into the month of December. Then, there was the concussion he sustained in a team practice in late February – right at the time it appeared Murray was finally starting to settle down and get into a groove. As former tPB blogger (now Journalist) Jesse Marshall would say, “the Penguins need to stop shooting fucking pucks at Matt Murray’s head in practice.” And before you knew it, the regular season was over.
Matt Murray never really had his chance to shine this year. But here’s the thing – we can put all of that shit behind us now. Because it’s time time to turn the page. A new season is about to begin tonight, and you should feel confident as ever whenever you see #30 leading the team onto the ice at PPG Paints Arena. You see, Matt Murray’s not your ordinary goaltender. Hell, he’s not even your ordinary 23-year old! Matt Murray is wise beyond his years. And if his play during the biggest moments over the previous two postseasons are any indication, he will be just fine. So you can relax. Perhaps even lay off the Facebook tonight. Because the kid with the two Stanley Cup rings will forget about everything that’s happened throughout the last six months and bounce back just like he always does.
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