Prior to this evening’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Penguins held an optional morning skate at PPG Paints Arena. A few big names did not participate, but there was one very important name who was on the ice: Matt Murray.
If you recall all the way back to Tuesday, Murray was diagnosed with a concussion that head coach Mike Sullivan later revealed happened during Monday’s practice. Sullivan went on to rule Murray out indefinitely with no set timetable for his return.
Then this morning, Murray stepped onto the ice prior to the official morning skate session and remained on the ice through the entire practice, taking shots from fellow teammates who were also taking the skate.
Murray is staying out for the #Pens optional skate and is taking shots from his teammates. Schultz, Dumoulin, Brassard, Sheahan, Letang, Kessel and Crosby are taking the option not to skate. -MC— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) October 11, 2018
This comes as somewhat of a surprise given Murray was only diagnosed with a concussion two days ago, but it is a positive sign nonetheless. Any thoughts of Murray perhaps returning to game action tonight were quickly squashed by Sullivan when he spoke to the media after practice.
“Matt will not available for tonight’s game, he’s still progressing, he skated today with the team and his status is still day-to-day,” stated Sullivan following the session.
Sullivan did not name a starter for tonight’s contest against the Golden Knights, but Casey DeSmith was the first goalie off the ice this morning according to Jason Mackey, which would signal he will be getting the nod.
DeSmith the first goalie off.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) October 11, 2018
Murray also held court with the press following the skate where he stated he felt good but he still had to meet with team doctors to discuss his status moving forward.
“As always it’s a day-to-day type thing, I feel good but still have to talk to the doctors,” said Murray. When asked if he could pinpoint the incident which led to the concussion, “I can, yeah” he said, but did not reveal whether it happened during Saturday’s game or in practice Monday.
When asked if he had concerns about the helmet he wears maybe not protecting him as well as it should, Murray answered with complete confidence that the helmet was not the problem. “I’m confident I’m wearing the best helmet you can get, but sometimes in a fast game, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing on your head,” stated Murray. “Stuff happens out there, but I’m 100-percent that I have the best helmet on the market right now, so that’s not the issue.”
It is hard to tell just how long Murray will be out of the lineup recovering from his latest concussion, but seeing him on the ice taking live shots from teammates is hopefully a positive sign he will not be on the shelf very long. Murray won’t dress tonight, and the recently recalled Tristan Jarry will serve as the backup.
The Pens will turn to DeSmith for his first game of the 2018-19 season when they play the Golden Knights.