Ramblings: Murray Out a Month, Fleury’s Early-Season Struggles (Oct 16)

Ian Gooding

2022-10-16

We're barely (not even?) a week into the season, and some goaltending situations are shaping up. Apologies if you're in one of those scoring-only pools, but the bulk of this version of the Ramblings will be focused on goalies. Of course, we'll start with the news that shook Leafs Nation early Saturday.

It's Ilya Samsonov or bust for the next little while in Toronto. In case you missed it, Matt Murray will miss at least the next 10 games because of an injured groin from the morning skate. Murray is a Certified Band-Aid Boy thanks to being placed on injured reserve seven times within the last five years. At this point in his career, Murray is the type of goalie that needs a proven tandem partner if a team is to invest in him. Murray played just 20 games last season for the Senators, so the fact that he is injured again so soon should come as no surprise.

Erik Kallgren was injured during the Toronto Marlies' AHL opener on Friday, which set off alarm bells as to whether an EBUG (emergency backup goalie) would be needed. Fortunately, Kallgren's injury appears to be minor, so he has been recalled on an emergency basis. No Zamboni driver needed, at least for today. I don't expect Kallgren to start often, except maybe back-to-backs. The next B2B for the Leafs is October 29 (@LA) and 30 (@ANA).

Given the amount of coverage the Leafs receive, there's no shortage of analysis out there, so I don't think I can provide any more than what has already been said. Samsonov's stock rises as a result of the fact that he should receive almost all of the starts for at least the next month. The question is, can he handle the additional workload? Samsonov had a -12.52 GSAA last season – only six goalies had a worse GSAA. Worried yet, Leafs fans? At least he should be in a good spot for some wins, although his ratios may not be that tidy. 

With Murray unable to face his former team on Saturday, Samsonov was put to the test against the Senators. He passed that test with his second quality start in as many games, making 26 saves in the Leafs' 3-2 win. At least for two games, he's been getting the job done.

Late Saturday, Elliotte Friedman suggested that as a result of Murray getting placed on LTIR, Nick Robertson might