There was a time when Jacob Markstrom seemed like the goalie of the future for the Florida Panthers. He was once regularly labeled as “the best goalie not in the NHL” (or at least the best goalie in the AHL).
Those thoughts feel a little distant for a netminder who is still only 25.
One thought that Ryan Miller’s injury might give Markstrom another opportunity to redeem himself, but Eddie Lack’s been so solid that his opportunities have been few and far between. Sunday stands as a big moment in the big Swede’s career, then.
On the bright side, he’s remained an impressive goalie at the AHL level. He’s currently 19-7-2 with a .932 save percentage for the Utica Comets, doing about all that can be asked of him in that regard.
These are the type of games that can make an impression one way or the other, however, so he aims for a strong showing against Mike Smith and the Arizona Coyotes.
As a bonus for those who kept reading, here’s a really random photo of Markstrom:
Almost feel like we’re seeing a hockey game from the perspective of HAL, huh?
Bruins at Lightning: Tuukka Rask (probably) vs. Ben Bishop (almost certain).
Ducks at Rangers: Expected to be Frederik Andersen vs. Cam Talbot, yet neither are confirmed.
NHL on NBCSN: Rangers host Ducks in potential Stanley Cup preview
NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign tonight as the New York Rangers host the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
The New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks rank among their respective conferences’ best, so Sunday presents an interesting test for each team. Some may even wonder if this could end up being the 2015 Stanley Cup Final preview.
The Rangers hold a commanding lead on the top spot in the Atlantic Division while the Ducks’ Pacific Division brethren faded from their rear-view mirrors long ago.
Each team is now eyeing broader seeding goals, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing well as of late.
Anaheim is on a four-game winning streak as they begin a five-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams with this game versus the Rangers at MSG. The Blueshirts are winners of seven of their past nine contests including Saturday’s 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes (so the Ducks hold a slight fatigue advantage today).
Interestingly, both the Rangers and Ducks are gunning for the Montreal Canadiens to some extent.
Montreal owns a tiebreaker advantage over the Ducks for the NHL’s top standings spot while the Rangers only trailing the Habs by two points despite holding three games in hand.
There should be plenty of firepower on hand with Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry representing three of the NHL’s premier power forwards.
The netminders may not be so familiar to some fans, yet Cam Talbot will face a quality goaltender, whether it’s Frederik Andersen or John Gibson in net.
These two teams don’t see each other all that frequently, yet they hope to face off in a certain seven-game series in June if things break the right way. Even if this ends up being the last time these two teams meet in 2014-15, it should be a great show on NBCSN.
Corey Perry, with the puck on his stick on a breakaway in overtime — it was trouble for the Colorado Avalanche.
Perry scored his 29th goal of the season 1:25 into overtime to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche, which still picks up a single point to move within six points of the Winnipeg Jets for the final Wild Card spot. Colorado trailed after two periods, quickly built a lead early in the third period, with goals 1:51 apart, but couldn’t hang on.
With the 3-2 overtime victory in #COLvsANA, the @AnaheimDucks earned their League-leading 29th win in one-goal games this season (29-1-7).
The Anaheim Ducks are expected to get Sami Vatanen back in the lineup tonight when they host Colorado.
Vatanen has been out since mid-February with a lower-body injury, and the talented 23-year-old is excited to return.
“It’s been a long four weeks for me sitting there and eating popcorn [for the games],” Vatanen said, per NHL.com. “It’s a fun time to be back in. I think this week I’ve been feeling really good and I’ve been ready to play and I’m just waiting my turn to get back in the lineup.”
The Lightning goalie, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, got off to a rather mediocre start in 2014-15, but he’s been excellent lately. With his “mojo back,” he’s allowed just 15 goals on 248 shots in his last nine starts (7-1-1), for a save percentage of .940 over that stretch.
Here’s a pretty nice stop he made in Monday’s 4-2 victory over Montreal:
Bishop will get the nod again tonight when the Lightning host the Red Wings, while Jimmy Howard will be in goal for Detroit.
Anders Lindback for the Sabres at home to the Devils, who are going with Keith Kinkaid.
Frederik Andersen likely for the Ducks at home to the Avalanche, who are expected to go with Semyon Varlamov.