Calgary Flames

Expectations for each Calgary Flames goalie heading into the 2022–23 season

The Flames made no changes to the goaltending tandem this offseason and are running it back with Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar (with maybe a surprise stint from Dustin Wolf). Markstrom had a Vezina-calibre year and Vladar had a decent rookie campaign. When the playoffs hit, Markstrom was one of the best goalies in Round 1 but was terrible in Round 2.

With Markstrom coming off the best season of his career and Vladar only coming off his first season, what are the expectations? Let’s break it all down.

Jacob Markstrom

Markstrom is coming off a year where he finished second in Vezina voting behind only Igor Shesterkin— who had an unbelievable year. He posted 37 wins in 63 games with a goals against average (GAA) of 2.22 and and save percentage (SV%) of .922. Markstrom benefitted from playing behind a strong defensive team but that’s not to say he doesn’t deserve any credit.

According to, Markstrom was expected to allow 152.14 goals—based on the quality of shots he faced, and he only allowed 137. This gave him a goals saved above expected (GSAx) of 15.14 which placed him sixth league-wide in this metric.

I’m expecting Jacob Markstrom to have a bit of a worse year. I’m expecting stats close to 30–35 wins, 2.20–2.35 GAA, .915–.920 SV% and 8–13 GSAx. A lot of his stats from 2021–22 were buoyed by his league-leading shutout count, but those performances are the hardest to replicate season over season.

Dan Vladar

Vladar just had good first season with the Flames where he started off strong but then tailed off. He was a bit of a question mark with his time with the Boston Bruins, but then settled into the backup role nicely with the Flames.

Vladar posted 13 wins in 23 games with a GAA of 2.75 and a save percentage of .906. Vladar has had a strong preseason showing so far, a good example being his 36-save performance against the Edmonton Oilers just a few nights ago. His strong performances has caused fans to expect more from him this upcoming season.

Using Evolving-Hockey again, Dan Vladar was expected to allow 51.19 goals and he allowed just over with 55 goals against. This would give him a goals saved above expected of -4.19. Even though it’s in the negatives, this is around average for this metric.

Like lots of fans, I’m expecting Dan Vladar to step up and have a bigger season. I’m expecting 17–20 wins with a GAA of 2.60–2.75, a SV% of .910–.915, and a GSAx of 0–3. The Flames might start him a bit more than not with his preseason performance, but with Darryl Sutter as coach, there’s a chance he’ll play Markstrom heavily anyway.

Dustin Wolf

Wolf was named AHL goalie of the year last season as an AHL rookie—he’s simply continuing his amazing play throughout his whole career so far. Wolf should be looking to play a few games for the Flames this season whether it’s due to injuries or just at the end of the season to see how he performs at the NHL level. I’m expecting Wolf to play two to five games some time this year. I want to say I’m expecting to him to play good in his stint, but goalies are voodoo, especially when they’re young.

Whether he steals a game or is left out to dry, it won’t be an evaluative NHL stint for him by any means so it would be good to temper expectations no matter how good or bad he ends up being—hoping for the former over the latter.

Similar goaltending expectations to 2021–22

With no changes to the tandem, it’s hard to not expect similar results to last year. The only real differences to expect is for Markstrom to get a little bit easier of workload which should drop the quality of his stats the tiniest bit and for Vladar to have a bigger role and better season removing some pressure off of Markstrom.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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