Wednesday, April 2, 2014
That's one way of getting Murray out of the lineup
It's a foregone conclusion that Montreal defenceman Douglas Murray will be suspended for elbowing Tampa Bay's Mike Kostka in the head last night, and the running gag among Canadiens fans is the more games, the better.
Murray's graceless and laborious style makes him an easy target for criticism. Like a good offensive lineman, nobody notices him when he's at his best. At his worst, he's a spectacular train wreck. Murray must be doing something right, because he's been in the NHL for nine years, has taken a regular shift wherever and whenever he's played, and is a significant contributor to a Canadiens penalty killing unit that ranks third in the league. He's never been suspended and probably faces a maximum of three or four games for last night's incident, which was more circumstantial than it was deliberate and which Murray probably regrets more than anyone.
If you think the Canadiens are better off without Murray, be careful what you wish for. He might not be poetry in motion, but properly utilized, his experience, size and defensive awareness make him more of an asset than he is a liability.