The 2022–23 season has been tumultuous for the Calgary Flames. With a plethora of underperformers across the board, one of the biggest disappointments has been their goaltending.
The tandem of Jacob Markstrom and Daniel Vladar have been consistently sub-par. With the team being involved in so many games decided by just one goal, this trend has cost them standing points and has them deep in a hole as they claw their way into the wild card picture.
Markstrom was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy just one year ago, and a big part of this was due to his league-leading shutouts. Blanking the opposition nine times last year, Markstrom has not had any success in this regard whatsoever. The same could be said about Vladar. He posted two shutouts last season himself and has yet to do so this year either.
While recording shutouts is a nice bonus when winning, the Flames have also ceded far more goals they did last year. This year, they’ve been involved in more games where they’ve allowed two to five goals against, whereas a year ago allowing zero or one against was a more common occurrence.
Calgary’s first shutout of the year
The Flames have not been successful in preventing goals against for a full 60 minutes this year. That is until tonight against the Minnesota Wild. In their 65th game of the season, a goaltending battle ensued Markstrom and noted Flames killer Filip Gustavsson (who had just shutout the Flames a few games ago).
The game remained scoreless after 60 minutes and the two teams were deadlocked heading into overtime. Markstrom had saved 39 shots compared to Gustavsson saving 23.
The Wild thought they scored a goal with 1:40 remaining to give Gustavsson the shutout win, but the goal was called back for being offside. The game ended up scoreless after a full 65 minutes and just like that—in the most unconventional of ways— Markstrom and the Flames’ first shutout of 2022–23 finally happened.
A Shutout, a shootout, and a shoutout to Markstrom
With the game needing a shootout, both Markstrom and Gustavsson recorded shutouts regardless of the game’s outcome. Ultimately, the Flames came out on top with Nazem Kadri and Tyler Toffoli scoring in Rounds 3 and 4 to cap off Calgary’s first shutout victory of the season. You can put Markstrom’s 40-save shutout in the win column,
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire