The Matt Murray REVENGE GAME: Leafs Tailgate

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
1 year ago
Matt Murray will make his first start against his former team since being traded away last summer as the Leafs host the Ottawa Senators tonight for Round 2 of the Battle of Ontario.
Unfortunately, Toronto will have to do it without Auston Matthews. Prior to the morning skate, they announced that the All-Star will be out a minimum of three weeks with a knee sprain.
Meantime, Murray hasn’t appeared in a game since January 17th when he got the hook for the first time as a Leaf after surrendering four goals on eight shots against Florida on home ice.
If you do recall, Murray was all set to take on Ottawa in the third game of the season (October 15th), but went down in the morning skate with a lower body injury. Furthermore, Ilya Samsonov, who’s a ridiculous 14-0-1 at Scotiabank Arena, was the surprise starter in that one and notched the 3-2 victory. Through 19 appearances so far this season, Murray’s a respectable 11-5-2 with a 2.73 goals-against average, 0.911 save-percentage and one shutout.
Meantime, this will be game three of Toronto’s five game homestand, they’re 2-0-0 so far. Additionally, they’re currently riding a modest five game point streak (4-0-1).
Despite dropping five of their past seven, the Sens are coming off a 2-1 win against the Islanders on Wednesday night. Toronto says, “we’ll one up you, though.” The Leafs kicked off the week by dummying the Islanders 5-2 on Monday night before slipping by the Rangers 3-2 in OT on Wednesday night.
TIME: 7 PM ET (Sportsnet, CBC)
OTT Anton Forsberg – CONFIRMED (8-10-2, 3.30, 0.901, 1 SO)
TOR Matt Murray – CONFIRMED (11-5-2, 2.73, 0.911, 1 SO)
Similar to whenever Toronto plays Montreal – as evident last Saturday – the Ottawa Senators always play them tough, too. So, what I’m getting at is that they better be ready tonight, or they run the risk of losing to another inferior opponent. Additionally, I don’t know about you, but there’s just something about the Battle of Ontario that just gets me fired up to watch. On top of that, I’ll actually be in attendance with my co-host Jay Rosehill for this one, so I’m hoping for a good game.
We had to wait a while, but finally, it’s the night I’m sure Matt Murray’s had circled on his calendar since the trade went down last summer. Additionally, this is a sneaky big game for the two-time Cup champ, who’s tallied an underwhelming 0.888 save-percentage over his past 10 appearances. If Murray has any plans of stealing back some playing time from the red-hot Ilya Samsonov, it’s imperative that he puts forth a solid effort tonight. There’s got to be some money on the board, right? I love revenge games.
Yes, the Matthews news sucks, but I’m curious to see how Holmberg fairs in an elevated role. He’s been an amazing story this season. In the grand scheme of things, rest is not a bad thing for Matthews. Also, starting next Thursday, the Leafs won’t play a game for nine days. If there were ever a time for this to happen, it’s probably right now. Furthermore, not for anything, but the Leafs have responded well in the past when Matthews has been forced to miss time. Despite all the injuries this season, especially on the back-end, the Leafs haven’t skipped a beat.
Courtesy our friends at PointsBet Canada, here’s tonight’s lines & odds:
(As of Noon EDT)
William Nylander Shot Prop

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