Welcome back to the final part of our mini series of reviewing my expectations for each Calgary Flames player. I’ve already reviewed my forward and defencemen expectations, so now we’re onto goalies. I held higher expectations towards the goalies, especially since Jacob Markstrom was coming off a Vezina-calibre year, but the goalies definitely haven’t been the brightest spot for the Flames this season. Without that out of the way, let’s see how I did.
Expectations: 30–35 wins, 2.20–2.35 GAA, .915–.920 SV%, 8–13 GSAx
Jacob Markstrom had finished second in Vezina voting, so I obviously held high expectations. Markstrom has been disappointing this season to say the least. Currently in 30 starts, Markstrom has 13 wins, 12 losses, and 5 overtime losses, this puts him around a .500 record and means he’ll likely not get to the 30–35 wins I was expecting. A 2.83 goals against average and .895 save percentage are not starter numbers at all, and ugly for a goalie that was expected to post at least a 2.35 and .915.
Goals saved above expected is the one somewhat redeemable stat for him. Markstrom’s GSAx is surprisingly in the positives. At the time of writing, he has a GSAx of 0.34 which puts him 36th league-wide. While still not an amazing number and placement, for how Markstrom has played, it’s a nice surprise that his GSAx has still found it’s way to the positives.
Another concern for Markstrom this season is his consistency. Some games he looks horrible and other games he looks like himself from last year. I do believe that Markstrom will find his groove again, but for now, things don’t look good.
Verdict: Expectations not met
Expectations: 17–20 wins, 2.60–2.75 GAA, .910–.915 SV%, 0–3 GSAx
Dan Vladar has been surrounded with a lot of hope lately due to his record in his last 11 games. His record in those games are 8–0–3 and he hasn’t suffered a regulation loss since November 26. Vladar hasn’t been as good as it seems many think he has, but he is still putting up what I would consider good for a 25-year-old goalie. Vladar currently has nine wins, four losses, and for overtime losses in 17 games played, this translates to about a .640 record.
There is a decent chance that Vladar can reach the 17 wins I had expected if he is receives the same run support the Flames have given him as of late and if he is given more games from Sutter in the second half. He has a 2.74 goals against average and .906 save percentage which are pretty normal backup numbers. His GAA is in the range I had expected in the preseason and it’s not too farfetched to believe that he could get up to a .910 SV%. Vladar’s goals saved above expected is around the average, just above his goalie buddy, at 35th with a GSAx of 0.65. Vladar has also had a fair share of inconsistencies but that’s expected of a young goalie.
Verdict: Expectations met
The Flames goaltending hasn’t been anything special this season and sometimes very far from lights out. Markstrom has been very underwhelming compared to last season and you’d have to think something happened, or he’s just getting older and this is the transition year. Vladar has been good for a young backup, but it’s nothing mind blowing, he’s putting up average backup numbers.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire