PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – There was already talk a year after Matt Murray was the survivor between himself and Marc-Andre Fleury of how long Murray would last as the Pens number one goalie. Then Tristan Jarry rolled off a pair of four game win streaks and one of six in a row last season.
Ideally the Pens may have wanted to keep both, but it’s a salary cap world. It appeared the year-younger Jarry had also pulled ahead of the two-time champion Murray in play on the ice.
“I think he’s played enough and I think like any goalie you love when you see that they are poised back there and confident,” said Pens captain Sidney Crosby. “He showed that last year.”
His impressive first half landed him in the NHL All-Star Game and now the starting job with a team still built to win another Stanley Cup. Although Jarry said he hasn’t been told he’s the starter yet and how the rotation will work with games basically every other day. Twenty-nine-year-old Casey DeSmith is the back-up as the season opens in Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon.
“Just trying to get better every day,” Jarry said. “I think that’s the biggest thing for Casey and I. It’s getting ready for the drop of the puck and trying to get better every day. That’s been our mindset so far going into camp is just to get ready as quick as we can and get better every day.”
“I think Tristan has the ability to be a real impact goaltender for us,” said Pens head coach Mike Sullivan. “He’s really talented. I think the evolution of his game has come a long way in the time he’s been a Pittsburgh Penguin.”
A Pens second round pick in 2013, Jarry played more games last year than he had in his previous three NHL seasons and his stats were the best of his career. Appearing in 33 games, starting 31 with a .921 save percentage and 2.43 goals against average.
“Tristan deserves a lot of credit for that,” Sullivan said. “He’s worked extremely hard to get to the point where he’s at. I know he takes pride in his game and his work habits. For me, that’s the most important thing when it relates to Tristan in particular. He’s really matured both on the ice and off the ice and establishing the necessary work habits that give him the opportunity to have success when the game occurs.”
The British Columbia native said he’s challenging himself every day and is excited to be on the ice with his teammates and wants to help them come together quickly.
“I think you just make sure you support him like you would, rather he’s played 10 years or one,” Crosby said. “You want to make his job as easy as possible. I think he showed a lot of poise when he played last year. Just really, really calm in the net, can handle the puck really well. We will be there for him if he needs us. I don’t think there is much that needs to be said.”
“He’s one of those guys that can be a big impact player for us,” said forward Jason Zucker. “He’s a world-class goalie. He’s incredible. I think he’s going to have a great year this year. I think he’s working incredibly hard. I think he had a great off-season.”
“He’s a competitive guy,” Sullivan said. “He wants the net. I think the sky is the limit for him. We are going to push him every day to be at his best. I do think Tristan has a quiet confidence about him and I think he has the ability to grow in every aspect of his game.”