Matt Murray
Matt Murray
26-Year-Old GoalieG
Ottawa Senators
2020 Fantasy Outlook
After helping the Penguins lift the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons, Murray suddenly found himself as the odd man out last year. It wasn't long ago that Pittsburgh was shipping out another champion netminder in Marc-Andre Fleury to make way for Murray to be the No. 1 guy. The positionally-sound goaltender struggled significantly last season, going 20-11-5 with a 2.87 GAA and one shutout, which eventually led to him being relegated to a spot on the bench prior to the league going on hiatus. The 26-year-old Murray's fate was likely sealed when he was unable to help prevent the Penguins' elimination in the opening round of the playoffs. Looking ahead, Murray will be the clear-cut No. 1 option in Ottawa, but he'll be playing behind a rebuilding roster that will likely struggle defensively, severely limiting his upside. As such, Murray should be considered, at best, a mid-range fantasy option. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $25 million contract with the Senators in October of 2020.
Activated off IR
GOttawa Senators
April 1, 2021
Murray (upper body) has been activated off injured reserve ahead of Thursday's matchup with Montreal.
ANALYSIS
The Senators have yet to announce a starter, but Murray could be between the pipes for Thursday night's clash with the Canadiens. The 26-year-old backstop has been sidelined since March 10 with an upper-body injury.
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2017 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    51:52
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2014
A dismal opening to the season for Murray -- a 4-5-1 record and a 4.08 GAA in his first 11 games -- raised concerns among fantasy owners. To make matters worse, the 25-year-old followed that ugly string of performances up with a 13-game absence due to injury -- not exactly the type of start the Penguins were hoping for out of their franchise netminder. However, following his stint on the shelf, the two-time Stanley Cup champion returned with a vengeance, posting a 25-9-5 record while recording a 2.34 GAA and a .930 save percentage in 39 regular-season appearances. As long as he can stay healthy, the positionally-sound netminder figures to see between 50-to-60 starts in 2019-20, and should be able to put up 30-plus wins with relative ease, making him a strong No. 1 option in any fantasy format.
While 2017-18 could be considered a down year for Murray compared to his rookie campaign, he still managed to rack up 27 wins in just 49 contests. Health will continue to be the biggest concern for the man who holds an NHL record for winning the Stanley Cup twice as a rookie. Last year was supposed to be Murray's chance to step out of Marc-Andre Fleury's shadow, but instead, he struggled for consistency and watched Flower make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Golden Knights. Regardless, this is Murray's team through and through, so if he can shake off the injury bug, he could log upwards of 60 appearances between the pipes in 2018-19. The lanky backstop owns a 2.58 GAA and .917 save percentage in 111 career contests, leaving room for improvement in his fourth season at the top level.
The Pittsburgh net officially belongs to Murray after Marc-Andre Fleury was selected by the Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The 23-year-old will face several new challenges as a true No. 1 backstop, including taking on a full workload for the first time, but he hasn't shown any signs of being overwhelmed at hockey’s highest level over the last two seasons. Fantasy owners should expect him to make 50-plus starts -- possibly pushing over 60 -- which is something he hasn't done since he was with Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL. The Thunder Bay native is a significantly different type of keeper than his predecessor, preferring to use solid positioning and technique as opposed to the pure athleticism and flash Pens fans had been accustomed to seeing from the Flower. If he can handle the load, Murray could very well contend for the Vezina Trophy, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he'll get bailed out of the occasional rough outing by Pittsburgh’s high-octane offense.
Last year was quite a whirlwind for Murray. First, he tore through the AHL with a 2.10 GAA and .930 save percentage. Then, he replaced a starting goalie (Marc-Andre Fleury) with 12 years of NHL experience at the end of March. The rookie responded by backstopping his squad to a Stanley Cup Championship, never once looking overwhelmed. The big question entering 2016-17 is whether he can do it again. Was last year just an unbelievable ride with a fairy-tale ending or does Murray’s excellence have legs for a full season? We’ve seen rookies win Cups under GM Jim Rutherford, only to end up becoming middling NHL netminders – see Cam Ward. Is Murray different? His prior AHL experience says so, as he starred in the minors for two seasons. Rutherford has gone on record stating he’s happy splitting up time between his top goalies, but that may be trade gesturing as much as anything else. Fleury has a $5.75 million cap hit remaining for another three seasons while Murray will make $628,000 in 2016-17. For now, fantasy owners have to assume that the two will occupy a timeshare at minimum, with Murray seemingly the favorite to take a majority of the starts.
Ranked second of three goaltending prospects, between Tristan Jarry and Eric Hartzell respectively, Murray compiled a 32-11-6 record for OHL Sault Ste. Marie last year, fashioning a 2.57 GAA and .921 save percentage. The 20-year-old will get his first taste of pro action in the fall with Wilkes-Barre, Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate. Given that starter Marc-Andre Fleury is in the final season of a five-year contract, there could be a goaltending opening in the next couple seasons. A strong start in the AHL could push Murray up the depth charts in a hurry, though it's still a long shot he sees time inside Consol Energy Center in 2014-15.
More Fantasy News
Hasn't been cleared to play
GOttawa Senators
Upper Body
March 31, 2021
Murray (upper body) has yet to be cleared to play, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports.
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Practicing again
GOttawa Senators
Upper Body
March 29, 2021
Murray (upper body) participated in Monday's practice, Matt Tidcombe of the Senators' official site reports.
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Shifts to IR
GOttawa Senators
Upper Body
March 22, 2021
Murray (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Monday, CapFriendly reports.
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Downgraded to week-to-week
GOttawa Senators
Upper Body
March 19, 2021
Per general manager Pierre Dorion, Murray (upper body) is now considered week-to-week with his upper-body injury, TSN 1200 Ottawa reports.
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Still sidelined
GOttawa Senators
Upper Body
March 17, 2021
Murray (upper body) is still considered day-to-day with his upper-body injury, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports.
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