Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray needs to start in playoffs

Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The netminder slot has been a topic of discussion all year for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coming into the playoffs, it’s no different, just extra important.

All year, the main dish of stories has focused on Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry. Who is should start? Or better yet, who will be the future of the Pittsburgh Penguins? Coming into the playoffs, Mike Sullivan had a choice to make. Youth or experience, but last week he may have hinted at who will get the nod, and it all makes sense.

The Athletic reported sometime last week on the Murray news. During that interview, Coach Sully said this about his Cup-winning goaltender:

"“We have extremely high expectations for Matt, he has shown the ability to play at his very best when the stakes are at their highest, and I can’t think of a better characteristic to have for an athlete.”"

The similarities between Murray and Jarry are frighteningly similar. Both came from nowhere, both took over the heart of the city, and both were the recipients of earning the starting spot. The only difference, Murray won two Stanley Cup’s while doing that. Jarry may have been invited to the All-Star game this season, but it’s still presumably double M’s job to lose.

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Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray needs to start in playoffs

Pittsburgh Penguins GM, Jim Rutherford, stated back in May that it would most likely by Matt’s job if the season resumed, but it would be a Sullivan decision. There’s no doubt that Sullivan has a secure connection to both of these players, making this selection over harder. However, playoff hockey is a different beast, and the Penguins have the right guy to finish, or at least start the job.

This scenario and the comments from Coach Sullivan do nothing but strip away the controversy and necessarily name Murray the starter for game 1, series 1. Murray has a career playoff record of 28 wins and 19 losses. His first season in the playoffs saw him get his career-high for wins, 15: his last appearance, 0 wins, and a quick exit.

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We all know that whatever happened last time out in the playoffs doesn’t matter at all, and it’s just about what have you done for me lately. Experience alone should give Murray the shot and, once again, let him be the deciding factor for his job. This offseason gets even trickier, but the playoffs could result in how those later choices go. For now, start Murray and have Jarry ready.