Pittsburgh Penguins: This is Matt Murray’s Season

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 11: Matt Murray
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 11: Matt Murray /

Heading into the 2017-18 NHL season, a number of new opportunities have opened up for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury being picked up by the Vegas Golden Knights in their expansion draft, Pittsburgh Penguins young goaltender Matt Murray finally will get a chance of his own. And this chance has been a long time coming.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins /

Pittsburgh Penguins

Playing Time Increased

I mean, you can say he was already the starter in Pittsburgh last season. He was, in fact, the presumed starter. After winning the Stanley Cup in his first playoffs, he was the number one goalie ahead of Fleury and there was no contest. However, Fleury was still a goalie with starting capabilities. This posed a threat to Murray’s playing time.

Now with Antti Niemi as the backup goaltender (for only one year might I add), Matt Murray is the only number one goalie on this team. He no longer has to worry about getting starts and he no longer has to feel the pressure of someone stealing his job just like that. Murray is the guy now and he will be for a number of years to come.

Time for his Pay Day

Matt Murray signed a three-year contract last year. He still has two seasons left before he will be going for his big pay day. He has already proved a lot, but with Fleury out of the way now, he can really start to show how much he’s really worth.

This kind of pressure is good. With him wanting to earn more money, I can expect that he will in turn play his best hockey to date. This is exciting as he has so much potential at just 23 years old.

So here is his time to shine. With his stability in net, everything else becomes more stable for the Penguins too. He has the potential to become a star goaltender in this league. He has two years to show it. Last season was the first step in doing that, this season will be the most important.