NASHVILLE – Nashville Predators fans have a chant for opposing goalies.
Well, it’s less of a chant and more of an incantation, trying to conjure up bad vibes for an opponent. A vulgar, humiliating incantation that’s meant to rattle someone like Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins on a night when he gives up five goals, like in their Game 3 Stanley Cup Final loss on Saturday night.
It begins with the fans counting off every goal surrendered. “THAT’S ONE! THAT’S TWO!” and so on. Then it mentions the goalie by name with mock sincerity: “THANK YOU MURRAY, MAY WE HAVE ANOTHER?” It then reviews recent events: “HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!” And then it offers a rather harsh evaluation of the goalie’s play (“YOU SUCK!”) before morphing into a sing-song chant of his name (“MURRRRRAY! “MURRRRRAY! MURRRRAY!”). And then it concludes by informing the goaltender that, in fact, “YOU SUCK! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!”
This is what it sounded like in Game 3 at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night.
Murray was asked about the chant after the game.
“It was loud. It was really loud. Passionate fan base, and it’s what we expected,” he said.
It was the first time Murray has given up more than four goals in a playoff game, and came after back-to-back wins in Pittsburgh where he looked unflappable. Consider this: The Predators managed four goals on 80 shots against Murray before scoring five goals on just 15 shots in Game 3.
Are there any of them Murray would like back?
“Yeah, all of them,” he said.
“A goal’s a goal. You want all of them back. That’s my mindset. I thought I was in position on all of them. A couple of weird bounces. The breakaway [the fifth goal] … maybe I thought I could make a better play on it. But I was pretty happy with my positioning.”
It was the Predators’ second goal, and eventual game-winner, that shifted the tide in the game. Frederick Gaudreau, a rookie, beat Murray cleanly on a shot from the slot, through an Ian Cole screen.
But that play was set up by a funky chip pass from Auston Watson that Gaudreau settled. Maybe in the first two games, it bounces away. But not in Game 3.
“They got a couple of bounces I thought,” said Murray.
There won’t be any concern from the Penguins or consideration for a goalie change. Murray will no doubt be better in Game 4 – he’s never given up more than two goals in a game following a playoff loss.
But if he isn’t, the Predators fans will no doubt let him hear about it.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, by any means. We knew we were going to go through some adversity. It’s about getting better, and moving forward,” he said.
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