Matt Murray Looks to Make the Most of His Rookie Season

Saturday, August 9, 2014
Matt Murray will be entering his rookie season in the Penguins organization in 2014-15. Photo credit: @ItsJacki.
Matt Murray enters his rookie season at an interesting time amongst the current core of goaltenders under contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He has a chance to make the AHL roster out of camp this fall, a roster he was on during the entire 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs as back up to Peter Mannino.

"Being able to see what goes on in the playoffs and getting to see what it takes night in and night out to be a winning team like that was huge for me," Murray said. "That's really going to help me going into the start of the season because I know what it's going to take."

Murray made his AHL debut in the 2013-14 season finale against the Utica Comets and didn't look out of place, stopping 23 of 25 shots in a 2-0 loss. It's tough to really measure Murray's abilities at the AHL level in just one game, especially considering the Penguins dressed ten rookies including Murray that night - a heavily ATO-based lineup at the end of the regular season. Murray also appeared in the third period of a playoff game in relief of Mannino, stopping all eight shots that came his way.

Coming into this summer's development camp, Murray must have thought he had something to prove. He performed well all week and out-performed 2014 Memorial Cup Champion Tristan Jarry in the camp's concluding scrimmage, allowing just one goal (a Sam Lafferty penalty shot) in 30 minutes of work. Murray helped his team of Penguin prospects earn the win and was equally impressive in the shootout after the scrimmage, allowing only a forehand to backhand roof job by Kasperi Kapanen.

"This camp is a great week for us," Murray said. "It's really good to get back into it. We haven't been on the ice in a long, long time."

With five goalies signed and three looking to stick in the NHL this season - Marc-Andre Fleury and the backup battle between Jeff Zatkoff and the newly-signed Thomas Greiss - the Pens look to have a decision to make in net before the 2014-15 season gets underway. It's a decision that could be the difference between some AHL starts or a more regular workload in the ECHL for Murray this season.

"I really have to compete for a spot," Murray said. "There's obviously lots of great competition, so it's what I have to work toward."


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