Goaltending was a major problem for the Calgary Flames last season. Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar had a rough season after coming close to winning the Jennings Trophy the year prior, and many were calling for trades after the Flames fell well short of expectations.
This season, the Flames are in an even worse position standings-wise, but their goaltending has taken significantly less heat after Markstrom has passed the eye test early on. The Flames’ early struggles have been pinned on a lack of offensive production, specifically by Jonathan Huberdeau, rather than goaltending issues like last year.
However, the stats simply don’t back it up.
Flames team goaltending
In all situations, here is how the Flames goaltending is doing relative to the rest of the league. All stats are courtesy of NaturalStatTrick.com and are at all situations.
The eye test shows that Markstrom is dialled in, and that is reflected in the Flames’ save percentage on high-danger shots against. They currently rank fifth overall in high-danger save percentage, but that’s where the magic stops.
The Flames are 28th or worse in save percentage for medium-danger and low-danger shots and that has resulted in an overall team save percentage that ranks 30th in the NHL.
Individually, Markstrom is faring better than Vladar, but it’s not good for either goaltender so far. This includes all goaltenders who have played at least three games this season (64 in total).
Flames individual goaltending in all situations
|Jacob Markstrom||HDSV%||MDSV%||LDSV%||Overall SV%|
|Dan Vladar||HDSV%||MDSV%||LDSV%||Overall SV%|
Out of 64 goalies, Vladar ranks in the bottom five for all categories except high danger. Only Markstrom in high danger is within the top 32 goalies in the NHL, which is a very concerning result.
If you’re a betting person participate in live ice hockey betting, the Flames goaltending is not an area you’ll be able to win at this season, at least so far. Maybe try to bet basketball live instead.
What should the Flames do?
Based on how Vladar has played, the Flames should do two things.
First, they should actually play Dustin Wolf after calling him up to the NHL yesterday. It’s unlikely that he will be any worse than Vladar has been, and he could turn the tides for the Flames in a big way.
Second, they need to trade Vladar. He’s barely performing at an NHL level and is literally one of the worst-performing goalies in the entire league right now. Enough is enough, it’s time for Wolf to be in the NHL and Vladar to be… elsewhere.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire