Pittsburgh Penguins Goalkeeper Tristan Jarry has always had potential, but he is finally starting to put it all together this season.
Coming into the 2019-20 NHL season, the Pittsburgh Penguins faced an important decision regarding who would be the team’s backup goalkeeper. Though Matt Murray is entrenched as the team’s starter, having depth is always a wise idea, particularly at such a vital spot. In the end, the Penguins were forced to choose between two guys, Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry, and due to reasons that seemed to be more about the salary cap more than their on-ice performances, Pittsburgh chose Jarry. It seemed like a risky move, as DeSmith has shown an ability to be a high-level backup in the past, but with the way Jarry has played so far, it looks like the Penguins may have a star on their hands.
For years, Jarry has failed to live up to expectations. As a former second-round pick, many thought he would become an instant impact player in the net for Pittsburgh, but, to this point, he’s been more potential than production. Outside of a brief stretch during the 2017-18 season, Jarry has barely sniffed NHL time, and though he was generally effective during that season, his career has been marred by inconsistency. That is, until now.
Jarry has looked like a completely different player this season, albeit in limited action. Through three starts, he has a save percentage of .939, and though he’s lost two of his three starts, he deserves almost no blame. As a matter of fact, the only reason this team even had a chance in their recent loss to Tampa Bay stems from Jarry’s play in the net. Yes, it’s an incredibly small sample size, but the production speaks for itself, and it’s saying that Jarry has, rather quietly, become one of the Penguins’ most surprisingly effective players.