Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Reason to Replace Murray

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Reason to Replace Murray

Article excerpt

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Another game like this, and the Marc-Andre Fleury talk is sure to begin. But not now. Not among the sane, anyway.

Matt Murray has had one great game, one decent game and one bad game in this Stanley Cup final. It so happened that Saturday night was the bad one -- a 5-1 loss in which he at one point allowed three goals on four shots.

I'm betting he trends back toward great in Game 4.

Not that Murray was the primary culprit Saturday. Far from it. Just because the "Smashville" crowd took great pleasure in yelling "It's all your fault!" at the Penguins' 23-year-old goaltender doesn't mean it was right.

The Penguins allowed too many odd-man breaks, too many breakaways, too many Grade-A chances to have any real hope of winning the game.

The power play stunk again. The Penguins tried to sit on an early 1-0 lead. Neither Evgeni Malkin nor Sidney Crosby registered a single shot. Phil Kessel struggled, to put it mildly, his most notable play coming on a late retaliatory cross check on Matt Irwin, who seems to like to hit people from behind.

But it was only one game. They say a series doesn't start until the home team loses. This one stands at 2-1 in favor of the Penguins, who can still put themselves within one win of the Cup if they take Game 4.

As for Murray, you know he won't be rattled. Nothing rattles him. That was obvious, again, in watching him calmly answer questions at his locker after the game.

Maybe some would want Murray to blame himself afterward, but he is stubborn that way. He doesn't often flog himself in public, which is probably a healthy thing.

He simply spoke the truth when he said, "I don't think we were at our best tonight, to be honest. I thought we were a little on our heels all night."

Not that Murray absolved himself. I wondered if there was a goal he'd like to have back.

"All of 'em," he said. …

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