Of the many things that went poorly for the Ottawa Senators last year, almost nothing was worse than the goaltending — especially at the start of the year when the team struggled to a 1-8-1 start, allowing a staggering 48 goals in that stretch. If the Sens have any real play-off aspiration this season, they’ll need much better play from their goalies.
Which brings us to today’s question for the panel:
Will Matt Murray rebound and regain his form from his time in Pittsburgh? Who starts the most games in net for Ottawa this year?
Owen: Murray will lead the way with 40+ starts and “rebounds” with a save percentage near 90.5-91.
Shaan: Murray will get the most starts this year, but Anton Forsberg and Filip Gustavsson should see some time as well. Murray should play about 40 games this year, and post a .907 save percentage, which is an improvement; unfortunately the Sens are likely expecting near Vezina-calibre goalie play for the contract they’ve given him.
Trevor: Murray will play the most games this season just because he has the longest leash (and biggest salary). But while he’ll be improved from last year, he’s still too inconsistent and Filip Gustavsson takes over as the number one by the end of the season.
Beata: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but yes, I think Murray is going to rebound and start the most games in net.
Nada: I was very excited for Murray last season and his performance was a bit of a letdown. That being said, he showed flashes of what he can be when he wasn’t injured and I want to believe that he can fully rebound this season. While Gus may get a good look throughout the campaign, I still think Murray will be the official number 1. He’s had time to adapt and rest; hopefully the defense can be a bit more organized and everything works out for him. Will he be back in Cup champion form? I don’t really think the Sens’ defense can make anyone that good but both he and the defense will be much improved this year as compared to last.
Ross: Murray doesn’t really rebound, posting a save percentage of .905. He still starts the most games though (I predict 51), for approximately 6 million reasons.
Ary: I don’t think he rebounds to what we saw during his best time in Pittsburgh. I’ll say a 0.908% over 41 games.
Spencer: Murray starts the most games but I don’t think he returns to form. He puts up better numbers than last season but still only around a 0.908 or maybe 0.910.
nkb: The Murray the Sens traded for, and gave that contract to, isn’t ever coming back so he’s not rebounding to that level of performance. That said, I suspect he’ll be serviceable, and should post an all-situations save percentage in the neighbourhood of .910 with 50 starts as the number one guy. He’ll likely even steal a couple of games, which will be a sight for sore eyes.