Markstrom shines in LA - does he deserve to start for Canucks next game?

Dec 20 2017, 2:51 am

Welcome to Vancouver, where the back-up goalie is always better.

After stopping 38-of-40 shots last night, including many grade-A scoring chances, the Jacob Markstrom hype train is in full force, as witnessed with this morning’s TSN 1040 poll question.

You’ll never guess who the fans chose…

Jacob Markstrom was outstanding on Tuesday night. He was the only reason the Canucks were in the game.


Through four games started, he has earned at least a point in three of them. He has a 1-1-2 record with a .917 SV% and 2.83 GAA.

Plan the parade.

Look, Jacob Markstrom has had a nice start to the season, but let’s hold our horses here. He’s had one good game in a row.

In his four starts this season, he has had a save percentage below .890 in half of them. His career SV% is still under .900.

My point is not that Markstrom is a terrible goalie who should never be given a chance. He’s a 25-year-old goalie that could be a starting goalie in the NHL in the near future, if his outstanding play in the AHL last year is any indication. Rather, my point is that the unproven backup goalie should do more before he gets back-to-back games and starts a media frenzy.

I guess I’m just old fashioned.

Ryan Miller’s stats are not exactly impressive this season. He is 7-8-6 with a .910 SV% and a 2.57 GAA. He had a good start to the season, but struggled in November.

Miller was poor in Anaheim, allowing 4 goals on 29 shots, including one that he waved at to the Ducks’ Jakob Silfverberg. But in the two previous games against the Stars and Wild, he was very good, making 58 saves on 62 shots (.935 SV%).

You can make a case that Miller is tired. He’s 35-years-old, but only Sergei Bobrovsky has played more games in net so far this season. Clearly, that’s too much.

The logical thing to do would be to give the backup more starts as he earns them, working him into games more frequently. But two in a row? Two in a row is a statement of non-confidence in your starter.

If Ryan Miller is your starting goalie, the guy you believe in, then it’s too soon to give Markstrom tomorrow’s game.

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