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Day 2 Analysis on Goaltenders: Murray has the look of an intriguing prospect

IMG_20130717_090021_014 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2013
DAY 2 ANALYSIS: GOALTENDERS
By Dave Fryer, Contributor to InsidePittsburghSports.com
The goaltenders were on the ice early to start both sessions on the second day of the Penguins Development Camp. The two groups each spent about 10-15 minutes prior to the rest of the players coming into the ice working directly with Goalie Development Coach Mike Bales on some movement drills in the crease. Later in the session, the skaters worked at one end of the rink while Bales and a few other staff members put the goalies through some more drills focused around movement and positioning.
To conclude the day, the goalies got to face some “live” action in a modified, two-on-two scrimmage. The drill placed the nets on the red line near the boards, and the play was contained to just the neutral zone. This gave the netminders plenty of action, but it also threw them a curveball since there was no crease and other standard markings to work with in getting positioned properly.
*Matt Murray looked very comfortable and fluid in his movements, and when pucks were introduced, he was very much in control of where he redirected the shots he faced. Murray’s potential was questioned last year, but he now looks like a goaltender that could go as far as he is willing to work for. The Penguins have had a long line of goaltenders over the past several years that peaked out at about the AHL level, so Murray’s task is going to need to continue his upward swing to break past that barrier. “We’re all here to work hard and try to develop and try to make an impression on the folks upstairs,” said Murray.

*Sean Maguire was again partnered with Murray for the first session today. Maguire is not as smooth in his movements, struggling to cover the same amount of ground as Murray. But his style exhibited efficiency and kept him in a ready position throughout each drill. Maguire offers reliability as a goaltender that will consistently make the first save, and with the crop of promising defensemen in the system that would stand guard in front of him, he could post similar numbers at the professional level as he has over the past three seasons in juniors and in college. As a freshman at Boston University, Maguire had a 2.54 goals against average and a .926, which was pretty much on par with his statistics in the BCHL.

*Tristan Jarry was surprisingly quick in his movements in all directions and kept his upper body very steady when exploding to a new angle. He appears to rely a bit too much on his left leg for moving out to the puck and for getting back up from a butterfly, one of the very few weaknesses that can be found in his mechanics so far. When faced with small-game action at the end of his session, Jarry spent far too much time down on the ice, which may have been partially due to the nature of the game. But he also seemed to be more tired than his counterparts, so the physical strain of the week may be affecting him more than the others because of his age and inexperience. His deficiencies were once again veiled by his athleticism, though, when he flashed his glove out to make the prettiest save of the day.

*Eric Hartzell, backed by more maturity and experience, was more explosive than Jarry and the others in getting back to his feet during the drills. In the small game, he spent a lot more time with his skates underneath him and had a knack for establishing himself squarely to the puck. However, shots at and around his feet remain his weakness, as evidenced when Olli Maata beat him between the legs on a quick wrist shot. Hartzell is not likely to make much of a dent in the NHL lineup for the Penguins this year, but his steady play and solid work ethic should earn him some quality time in the team’s minor league system this season. Any big improvements he makes there could get him a look at the NHL level with another club seeking a reliable backup or the Penguins at somepoint depending on how their goaltending situation shakes out in the next couple years.

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Dave Fryer

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