Now granted, there were some questions as to whether or not Markstrom fit that bill heading into free agency. He only appeared in 60 games for the Canucks twice over his seven-year stint in Vancouver and had a 45.2 percent winning percentage over that tenure, but when compared to the not-so-dynamic duo of starter David Rittich and Cam Talbot – who is actually playing well with the Minnesota Wild – it was hard to argue that Markstrom didn’t at least offer the potential for a better situation in-goal moving forward.
Heck, if anything, putting Rittich into a 1b role had to be considered a positive no matter how well Markstrom played.
Jacob Markstrom has played like a man on fire for the Calgary Flames.
More from Puck Prose
- Detroit Red Wings 2023 Rookie Camp Has Plenty of Ups and Downs
- This Columbus Blue Jackets rookie doesn’t want to be forgotten
- 2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup
- 3 reasons the Avalanche won’t win the Stanley Cup in 2024
- This is a big year for Alex Turcotte and the Los Angeles Kings
On opening night, Markstrom turned in a very good performance versus new North Division foes, the Winnipeg Jets.
Was it enough to unequivocally ease the minds of Calgary fans the world over? No, not yet. Even if he went 23-26 on even-strength goals and 7-8 on the power play, he still gave up three goals to Kyle Connor and company and ultimately lost out on securing the Flames two points with an overtime goal scored by Patrik Laine.
But still, with Rittich having missed opening night due to family issues, the choice was beyond obvious to give Markstrom his second start of the season when his former team, the Canucks, took the hallowed ice of the Scotiabank Saddledome.
If you happened to catch the game – and if you didn’t, I highly recommend you do soon – you’ll know Geoff Ward clearly doesn’t regret Brad Treliving’s decision.
Facing off against an offense with slightly less firepower than that of Winnipeg, Markstrom stopped all 32 of the shots sent his way by Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and company – the best of which you can check out perfectly packaged together by the Flames below.
My goodness, that glove save was sweet.
Now granted, this isn’t the first time Markstrom has pitched a perfect game, so to speak. He’s actually recorded seven shutouts over his first 274 starts, the most recent of which came in Game 3 of the Canucks’ Qualifying Round series against Cam Talbot’s future team, but this is his first of presumably a ton more as a member of the Flames and should be appreciated none the less.
When you sign any player to a six-year contract in free agency, there’s always a chance it doesn’t work. When you sign a goaltender who put up a 99-93-27 record over his last seven seasons to the ninth-highest AAV in the NHL, there’s a very good chance it doesn’t work. But if the first two games of the 2020-21 NHL season are of any indication, it looks like the Calgary Flames may have landed a good one in Jacob Markstrom – answering their goaltending questions once and for all.