If one thing has been certain about the Calgary Flames since the start of the offseason, it’s that they are going full Sutter. With that in mind, it’s likely the Flames are going to be seeing a whole lot of Jacob Markstrom in net this season.
Last season Markstrom played in 43 out of 56 games, with 27 of those games following the mid-season hiring of Sutter. Additionally after the trade deadline saw the Flames sending David Rittich to Toronto for a 2022 third-round pick, Markstrom played in all of the Flames’ remaining games aside from the second last game of the season when Louis Domingue started following Calgary’s mathematical elimination from the playoffs.
Changing of the guard
It’s a given that the Flames won’t be using a 1A/1B goalie tandem with Sutter as coach, but Markstrom definitely won’t be playing all 82 games either, even if Sutter might want that deep down. With Rittich no longer in the picture, the Flames now turn to 24-year-old Dan Vladar as the second line of defence in net.
Yet unlike Rittich, Vladar is much more of an untested unknown. Vladar only played in five games last season totalling 300 minutes on ice for the Boston Bruins. So for him to be stepping in as our main backup goalie is a huge change in role.
How has Vladar played so far as a Flame?
Vladar was given the start behind the crease three times during the preseason. Goaltending stats are from NaturalStatTrick.com.
In the first game of the preseason against Edmonton he split time behind the crease with Adam Werner, and allowed one high-danger goal on ten shot attempts; in his second game he allowed two goals throughout the entire game both of which were high-danger chances; and in his third game he was able to stop all high-danger chances, but still allowed one low-danger and one medium-danger chance to get past him.
Taking a look at all situations, he’s fared well too.
Considering this is the preseason, it’s important to take Vladar’s time in net with a grain of salt but he is showing some serious promise going into the regular season. Especially if he’s able to have more games like his final game against Winnipeg where he had a stellar 0.939 5v5 SV% and 0.925 all situations SV%.
Again, it’s unlikely that Vladar will play many games due to Sutter, but if he’s able to replicate the majority of the way he played this preseason, the Flames should have a reliable goaltender in net whenever Markstrom absolutely needs a break.