Championships and injuries have made the first three seasons of Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray’s NHL career very eventful.
The 23-year-old has already had his name etched into the Stanley Cup twice. He’s also missed 32 games through injury and with his current concussion diagnosis that number is going to climb.
Is Murray injury prone, unlucky or a combination for the two?
September 19, 2016 – Broken Hand – 12 games
While playing for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, Murray suffered a broken hand in a game against Russia.
Penguins’ general manager Jim Rutherford announced the injury to the media on Sept. 24, but was not concerned about any lingering effects to his young goaltender.
"It's not an unusual injury, I think," Rutherford said. "That's probably the best way to say it. It's not necessarily common, but it's something that should heal 100 per cent. And I think the biggest thing for us, and it's what I said to the doctor, we don't need to push this too quick."
December 28, 2016 – Lower-Body Injury – two games
Murray was declared out week-to-week due to a lower-body injury suffered against the Carolina Hurricanes.
After playing the first two periods of the game, Murray was replaced by Marc-Andre Fleury to start the third period. He wouldn’t retake the net until a Jan. 12 game against the Ottawa Senators.
April 12, 2017 – Lower-Body Injury – 11 games (playoffs)
During the warmups for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Murray suffered a lower-body injury while stopping pucks.
Fleury took over between the pipes and led the Penguins all the way to Game 3 of the Conference Final when Murray returned to the net in relief during a 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Murray would reclaim the net and help lead the Penguins to their second straight Stanley Cup title.
“Last year was pretty special, being my first run,” Murray said after the Penguins beat the Predators in the Stanley Cup final. “Went through some injuries this year and some adversity. I think I was able to come back not only quicker but stronger than before.”
November 27, 2017 – Lower-Body Injury – six games
Murray had to be helped from the ice following a collision with Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek and was declared week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
With Fleury now a member of the Vegas Golden Knights, Tristan Jarry took over for Murray in net to finish the game.
"Injuries are part of the game and Matt's a young guy," head coach Mike Sullivan said after the game. "He's only going to get stronger, he's only going to get more durable with each game that he plays and I think he'll be fine."
December 27, 2017 – Upper-Body Injury – one game
Murray suffered an upper-body injury in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, though even he wasn’t sure exactly when it occurred.
He was examined after the game and the doctors held him out of the Penguins following contest against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“I feel good,” Murray said after practising after the Hurricanes’ game. “Had a good day today.”
He returned to face the Detroit Red Wings after missing only one game.