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Rutherford’s Two-Goalie System Paying Off

June 1st, 2017 at 3:26 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

After Matt Murray led the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup last June, trade rumors immediately began circling for Marc-Andre Fleury. Especially with the expansion draft a year away, many assumed Fleury would be dealt before the season even began.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford may have dangled his veteran goaltender in front of some teams last summer, but no deal was ever made. Heading into the season, Rutherford valued Fleury’s experience and how important that could be to teaching Murray how to be a pro. Despite leading Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup, Murray still had just 13 regular season NHL games of experience prior to October.

Although having both goaltenders didn’t initially yield the results Rutherford hoped, it’s certainly paid off this postseason.

Struggles Sharing the Net

Once Murray healed from a broken hand he sustained during the World Cup, he and Fleury split the Pittsburgh net pretty evenly. From the beginning of November to the middle of January, the Penguins won a lot of games, but it wasn’t because of stellar goaltending.

In 21 games during that stretch, Murray posted a .916 save percentage and 2.53 goals-against average. Even though those numbers aren’t terrible, he was much better last postseason with a .923 save percentage and 2.08 GAA.

Marc-Andre Fleury (29) and goalie Matt Murray (30) (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Meanwhile, Fleury was even worse over that time, …

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Tags: Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Murray, Penguins Goaltending, Pittsburgh Penguins, Top Story

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