Matt Murray, goaltender of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is currently under investigation by the NHL for an alleged cheating scandal.
The 28-year-old Canada native was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third round of the 2012 NHL draft. This is his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs as he spent five seasons with the Penguins and two seasons with the Ottawa Senators. His current record for this season with the Maple Leafs is 11-5-2.
His record this season might be looking good but many people think he is cheating his way to victory. Murray is being accused of purposely loosening his net in order to be able to easily kick it off its posts. This would give the Maple Leafs an unfair advantage because when a goal becomes dislodged play stops and some goals may get taken off the board for that reason.
When the Maple Leafs played the Philadelphia Flyers on January 8, Murray was noticed in the situation room during a TV timeout playing with the net. This caught the attention of sports journalist Micheal Russo as he tweeted this.
The league will be testing nets coming up, but also clipping goalies taking nets off moorings and bringing examples to GM’s Meeting in March. During the Maple Leafs and Flyers games, the net came off twice.
On November 25, The Maple Leafs took on the Minnesota Wild. During this game, the net became dislodged three times. Wild head coach Dean Evason was very frustrated with this situation and questioned why Murray did not receive any repercussions after the net came off its moorings three times. Evanson believes that one incident, in particular, wasn’t an accident and added that Wild goaltending coach Frederic Chabot said it's a “trend” with Murray.
After his team lost 4-3 to Toronto, Evanson told reporters, “You can’t knock the net off three times and not get anything out of it.” He added, “ It doesn’t make any sense. We have offensive time in there and sustained time. We could get more opportunities and all of a sudden, it stalled out and momentum’s gone and whatever. I don’t understand it.”
On the other side of things, Murray told the reporters, “I don’t know what was going on there.” He also said, “I use the net to push off all the time. For whatever reason tonight it just came off a little bit easier.”
On November 23, there was a big game between the Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils. The Devils were looking to make franchise history by extending their win streak to 14 games. Three overturned goals later, the Maple Leafs ended up winning 2-1. The net was also dislodged during this goal and fans were not happy as they were throwing trash on the ice.
Many people have stood up for Matt Murray during this situation saying that the moorings are the problem since nets shouldn’t come off that easily or that he was fixing the net during the video, not loosening it.
Regardless of the outcome of this investigation, the league is most likely going to continue to check the nets and see if there is a different solution to help fix the nets coming off during play.