Toronto Maple Leafs Matt Murray Returns to Game Action

Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators / Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photo/GettyImages

It has been one year and eleven days, but Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray was finally able to get back into a game on Saturday night.

Going into the 2022-23 NHL season, the Toronto Maple Leafs believed that Murray was going to be the starting goalie for the year and early returns showed why. The two-time Stanley Cup champion came out of the gates with an 11-4-2 record with a 2.48 GAA and .919 save percentage, unfortunately injuries would stack up and he was not able to keep up the same level of play.

A groin injury in October, an ankle injury in January and finally a head injury in April meant he would not play at all in the 2023 playoffs.

In the midst of last summer an additional injury to Murray's hip would be identified and corrective surgery would be required that would leave him out for at least six months.

This past January there was rumblings that Murray was skating, however, any anticipation of a return was muted once it was learned that he was just public skating with no equipment on.

Matt Murray Takes a Huge Step Forward

Recently Murray started joining the Maple Leafs for practice and on Saturday he was cleared to play which resulted in the team sending him on a conditioning stint with the Toronto Marlies; and that evening he started for the American Hockey League team against the Syracuse Crush.

There were a lot of positives from the game, specifically that Murray collected the win during a shootout. He did allow five goals on 27 shots, however, three of those goals were scored on the powerplay and when the game went to the shootout Murray stopped each and every attempt.

More than any results from the game itself, the biggest reason for optimism is that Murray was able to play the entire 65 minutes of the game and then the shootout without needing to come out of the game.

All of this could not factor into anything for the Toronto Maple Leafs as the team currently has Joseph Woll and Ilya Samsonov fighting for the net, while Murray is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.


However, stranger things have happened and it would not be shocking to see the former Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound goalie find himself back in a Maple Leafs jersey before the playoffs come to an end.