Saturday, February 4, 2023

Maple Leafs’ Murray’s net-knocking antics could get him in trouble

Oh boy. Matt Murray didn’t double down on knocking the online off. He tripled down. A hardly ever seen transfer that’s acquired him in sizzling water with hockey followers all through the state of Minnesota.

Throughout Friday evening’s matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild, Murray dislodged the online on three separate events. And to assume, simply two nights earlier than when the Leafs confronted off in opposition to the Devils, Murray was enemy No.1 for a similar purpose.

I wrote a piece on why I feel Murray is harmless of any wrongdoing. And I nonetheless consider that to be the case. Murray isn’t knocking the online off deliberately. Nevertheless it’s taking place with such a frequency that he’s put himself in a very tight spot.

There’s no approach round it: Murray is on blast. Absolutely the NHL is paying consideration, and I don’t assume he’ll obtain a lot leniency the following time he knocks the online off.

I’ve been there earlier than. It’s a sinking feeling once you’re on the market attempting to do your job as a goaltender and the pegs fail. However at this level, I feel Murray must be extra aware of the put up scenario in each area.

Towards Minnesota, I don’t assume Murray will be faulted for the primary and third occurrences, however the second is hard to observe. Let me clarify.

This clip is the primary time Murray knocked the online off. And to me, it’s clear that Murray is attempting to make use of the put up to push off in the direction of Wild ahead Calen Addison. However the pressure of the impression causes the versatile marsh peg to launch. 

Easy. It’s a chief scoring probability in opposition to, and if the puck goes in, whatever the internet being off, the purpose will depend. So it serves Murray no profit to knock the cage off in this occasion.

That is the powerful one. Particularly Toronto has been hemmed in their defensive zone and the whistle little doubt aided the Maple Leafs. However I don’t see something about Murray’s mechanics which might be out of the odd.

The issue, I consider, is that when the Leafs goaltender makes use of shin-on-post RVH, his shoulder and arm hit the put up with as a lot pressure as his leg. And that places stress on the put up a number of toes off the ice.

It’s completely different for goalies that interact the put up with the skate blade or the pad’s toe field in RVH. The stress level is decrease to the ice. Assume 4 inches as a substitute of 30 inches, like when Murray leans in along with his higher physique.

My highschool stage physics information tells me that Murray’s greater stress level on the put up creates a better lateral pressure on the plastic peg than it could if his skate was on the put up. And that, in flip, makes the online simpler to dislodge.

It’s value noting that Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t have any issues with the online on Friday evening. And I feel that may be attributed to his choice of utilizing skate-on-post RVH. His foremost level of forceful put up engagement is decrease than Murray’s.

There’s extra to it. Watching the video, it’s obvious that the holes have been drilled to a suitable depth on the Xcel Power Heart. However the high of the opening is sort of chamfered. 

That issue permits the peg to flex greater than it was designed to. The width of the opening must be constant from the concrete to the highest of the ice.

So even with the turkey basters out, and the online put again in place correctly, the way in which the ice was drilled permits some wiggle room for the peg. 

Now right here’s the rub: many NHL rinks are like this. It’s arduous to drill straight down with out creating some outward taper towards the highest of the opening. 

And I feel it’s one thing Murray — and all NHL goalies — want to think about when a interval begins. Survey the put up. Push on the web. Discover out what the pressure restrict is.

It’s like course information in golf. A PGA Tour skilled doesn’t simply tee up a ball and go play. They scout the course in advance. NHL goalies have to do the identical with the world. The boards and glass will be completely different. Ice circumstances differ. It pays to know, as a goalie, what you’re working with.

This was the third time the online got here off, and there’s no faulting Murray on this one. He’s crashing into the far put up to make a save. 

There’s a urgent have to get throughout as rapidly as potential and seal the brief aspect. Murray impacts the online arduous sufficient to raise the whole cage upward, inflicting the again peg to eject.

NHL nets turn out to be dislodged in this fashion pretty usually. It may not be each recreation, however a fast search can discover an instance from nearly each NHL netminder.

So in the long run, what will be finished?

First off, the NHL has to determine the best way to hold the pegs from ejecting. That might go a good distance in the direction of preserving the nets in place. It’s going to take want and {dollars}. Analysis and design. 

However a greater resolution has to exist. It simply must be discovered.

However for Murray, he’s going to have to change his put up integrations. He’s now beneath the microscope and gained’t be receiving the good thing about the doubt. 

Murray has angered lots of people. And you already know the NHL is paying consideration after Wild head coach Dean Evason laid into Murray’s actions throughout his put up recreation availability.

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