Picking up from yesterday, here on Terry Murray’s thoughts on goaltending, particularly on whether he thinks it’s important to establish a No. 1 goalie in training camp and how he feels, in general, about playing young goalies…
Question: The one thing that fans really want to see is an established goalie. Are you setting a goal to establish a No. 1 goalie in training camp or will you feel comfortable with guys sharing time?
MURRAY: You have a No. 1 goalie, but — and there’s a big `but’ there — you have to have two guys. You have to have two goalies. Because of the game today, because of the schedule and the travel and all the things that go along with a long season, you have to have two goalies who are going to play and play at a high level. Ideally you want one goalie who’s going to have a large share of the games, but there’s no doubt that your other goalie has to be able to come in and play at a very high level and do a great job for your team.
Question: Is consistency big for you? I mean, they had seven goalies here last year…
MURRAY: Injuries were a part of that too.
Question: Right, and they thought it was best to send Bernier back. But that in-and-out stuff, where it’s, `Now we’re going to this guy,” do you think that hurts a team? Are you comfortable going with what works at the moment or would you prefer to ride the same two guys for 82 games?
MURRAY: Well, you’d like to say that. You’d like to have two goalies who are going to play well and — touch wood — stay healthy all year and have those be your two goalies. But mind you, you have to play well in front of your goalies, as a team. You have to make a big commitment there. I’m talking about checking and I’m talking about cutting back on goals against. That isn’t just your two goalies. That’s your whole team buying in and putting great value in that. So there’s a huge commitment that is needed, from every player that is on your team, to go out and do the right thing on the checking side of things.
Then you’ve got to have a good read as to who your goalies are and what they are. I’ve been on teams where you get a little too sloppy at times and you’re leaving your goalies vulnerable and you’re really exposing them. Every goalie does get exposed and they have to come up with big saves, but time after time and game after game, if you start exposing your goalie, I don’t care who you’ve got, bad things are going to happen. So the commitment is, let’s do the right thing in front of our goalies, and they need to play well too, mind you. If we do that, we’re heading in the right direction.
Question: Do you have any particular philosophy on playing young goalies? Would you tend to be cautious in that situation or do you want to see what they’ve got?
MURRAY: I’m going to go into training camp with that type of attitude, as I will with all positions. I’ll get an evaluation as to how they play, how they’re handling it and how they’re doing and, again, making the right decision for the team. It’s really important, on the goaltending side of things, that you’re doing the right thing for the player also. That is a very high-confidence, low-confidence position. You’ve got to do the right thing. That’s all I can say right now, without knowing anyone or having seen anyone. we have to make sure we’re going in with that attitude, as in, `Here’s our plan and here’s where we want to get to in this plan.’
When you leave Philadelphia, like I have, a team that was in the final four (of the playoffs) and you’re getting prepared for the start of the year, we want to go in with the attitude that we’re prepared to win all the hockey games. You have to believe that as a player, but we also know, as a young hockey club with a lot of young players, that we have a plan and we’re going to do the right thing for that plan.