Tag: Jacob Markstrom

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AHL announces first- and second-team all-stars


The AHL announced its first- and second-team all-stars today. Here they are:

2014-15 AHL First All-Star Team
Goaltender – Matt Murray, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (38gp, 24-9-3, 1.50gaa, .943sv%, 12so)
Defense – Brad Hunt, Oklahoma City Barons (57gp, 17+31=48pts., -6, 8 PPG)
Defense – Chris Wideman, Binghamton Senators (70gp, 17+37=54pts., +5, 7 PPG, 3 GWG)
Left Wing – Chris Bourque, Hartford Wolf Pack (67gp, 27+32=59pts., +2, 10 PPG)
Center – Andy Miele, Grand Rapids Griffins (66gp, 24+43=67pts., +12, 8 PPG, 4 GWG)
Right Wing – Teemu Pulkkinen, Grand Rapids Griffins (46gp, 34+27=61pts., +1, 10 PPG, 6 GWG)

2014-15 AHL Second All-Star Team
Goaltender – Jacob Markstrom, Utica Comets (28gp, 19-7-2, 1.91gaa, .932sv%, 5so)
Defense – Colin Miller, Manchester Monarchs (65gp, 17+30=47pts., +8, 10 PPG, 3 GWG)
Defense – Bobby Sanguinetti, Utica Comets (58gp, 16+22=38pts., +22, 6 PPG, 6 GWG)
Left Wing – Shane Prince, Binghamton Senators (67gp, 25+34=59pts., +6, 9 PPG, 5 GWG)
Center – Jordan Weal, Manchester Monarchs (70gp, 19+46=65pts., +7, 8 PPG, 6 GWG)
Right Wing – Brian O’Neill, Manchester Monarchs (66gp, 22+52=74pts., +25, 9 PPG, 7 GWG)

The press release has more details on each player.

Picking one to expand on, Murray is certainly an interesting story. Property of the Pittsburgh Penguins, this was the 20-year-old’s first full season as a professional. So, what does his long-term future with the organization hold, given the Penguins gave Marc-Andre Fleury a four-year extension in November? Could we see Murray in the backup role as soon as next season, or would he be better off with more time in the minors? Fleury’s current backup, Thomas Greiss, is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Related: Isles draftees Pulock, Pokka highlight AHL all-rookie team

Miller to back up Lack tonight versus Coyotes

Vancouver Canucks v Philadelphia Flyers

Ryan Miller will be back in a Canucks uniform tonight when he backs up Eddie Lack versus the Coyotes.

Miller has not been in the lineup since suffering a sprained knee Feb. 22 on Long Island. It’s possible he could start Saturday versus Edmonton, allowing him to get some game action before the playoffs begin, while also giving Lack a rest.

Lack remains likely to start Game 1 of the playoffs next week, though coach Willie Desjardins has not publicly committed to either netminder.

Vancouver has already clinched a playoff spot and could, depending also on what happens in the Flames-Kings game, clinch second-place in the Pacific Division tonight.

The Canucks have sent Jacob Markstrom back to the AHL.

Goalie nods: Canucks sticking with Lack, who wants ‘to be the hero again’

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You can be their hero, Eddie

The Canucks had three goalies on the ice for this morning’s optional skate — Ryan Miller, Jacob Markstrom and Eddie Lack — but it’ll be the latter who’ll get the start tonight in a crucial tilt versus Los Angeles.

Lack hasn’t exactly been a hero over his last five games, going 2-2-1 with a .903 save percentage, numbers that have been skewed by tough outings in Winnipeg (five goals on 36 shots) and Nashville (four goals on 38). It’s also worth noting Lack’s seen an awful lot of rubber lately; he’s faced an average of 35.2 shots per game over his last five, including 40 in a overtime loss to Dallas last week.

With Miller getting closer to a return to game action, tonight’s tilt will prove huge for Lack’s future as Vancouver’s No. 1. Tonight’s tilt will also prove huge for Western Conference playoff jockeying, as the Kings head into tonight’s action just three points back of Vancouver in the Pacific, and one back of Calgary.

Speaking of the Kings, no official word yet on who’ll start, but it’s expected to be Jonathan Quick.


‘Canes at Sabres: Cam Ward vs. Anders Lindback

Blue Jackets at Rangers: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Henrik Lundqvist

Jets at Wild: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Devan Dubnyk (“DUUUBS” — Halford.)

Stars at Sharks: (No Dallas starter yet) vs. Alex Stalock

What are the Oilers going to do about their goaltending?

Ben Scrivens

Given the unpredictable nature of goaltending — a notion we’ve been hammering home all season — it seems a bit unfair to bring up something Craig MacTavish said a year ago and hold it against the Oilers’ general manager.

But here’s the quote anyway, made after the Oilers had 1) signed Ben Scrivens to a two-year contract extension and 2) acquired Viktor Fasth from Anaheim:

“I think anyone who tells you they’re sure about the performance of their goaltenders based on a relatively small sample size, is not likely accurate. But we have two really good options next year and it will be a competitive position, as it always is. When I was driving into the office today, I thought that if we could stabilize our goaltending for next year and check that box off, that was my objective going in.”

Yada, yada, yada, based on their team save percentage of .888, the Oilers have had the NHL’s worst goaltending this season.

That’s right — instead of improving, it’s actually gotten quite a bit worse. Out of 44 goalies that have played regularly this season, Scrivens (.893) and Fasth (.888) rank 42nd and 44th in save percentage, respectively.

Now, two things:

1. The Oilers have defensive deficiencies, no doubt about it. How much that impacts a goalie’s save percentage is up for debate, but there’s sure good reason to believe it doesn’t help.

2. MacTavish wasn’t the only one who thought he’d stabilized the position. And he did acknowledge the unpredictability of goaltending with his “relatively small sample size” disclaimer.

Neither of those things changes the fact the position remains a problem, and how the Oilers try to solve the problem will be interesting to watch. Scrivens has one year left on his contract, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent. Fasth can become unrestricted this summer. There’s no obvious option in the AHL; 22-year-old Laurent Brossoit is developing nicely, but he’s still just a prospect.

So, assuming Fasth isn’t back, the Oilers will need to go out and get a goalie.

One name that’s been bandied about is Kings backup Martin Jones. Of course, the risk there is his limited body of work in the NHL, just like it was with Scrivens and Fasth.

Instead of going the “promising backup playing behind an entrenched starter” route (Cam Talbot and Antti Raanta fall in that category as well), it may behoove the Oilers to acquire a more experienced netminder, similar to what the Canucks were thinking when they brought Ryan Miller aboard last summer.

So, would Antti Niemi be worth talking to when he becomes a UFA this summer? He’s not the most exciting option, but there’s something to be said for consistency:


Or, if not a free agent, might the Oilers be able to pry Eddie Lack out of Vancouver? It’s unlikely the Canucks will be able to keep Miller, Lack and Jacob Markstrom past this season.

Unfortunately for MacTavish, there just isn’t a glaringly obvious candidate for him to pursue. Not one that we can think of anyway.

In a cruel twist for Oilers fans, the most sought-after UFA goalie this summer will probably be — yep, you guessed it — Devan Dubnyk.

Related: ‘Amazing how quickly we regained our confidence’ with Dubnyk, says Wild GM

Buffalo beware? Vancouver hands Arizona its eighth straight loss

Yannick Weber, Mike Smith, Klas Dahlbeck, Daniel Sedin

Since February 9th, the Arizona Coyotes have only earned one victory, a 3-2 shootout decision over Vancouver on March 5. The Coyotes came close to stealing another game away from the Canucks, but in the end Vancouver earned a 3-1 victory.

Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom made his first start since his “nightmare” game against San Jose on March 3 and managed to turn aside 24 of 25 shots. The lone Arizona goal came from Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who now leads all defensemen with 20 markers.

That goal tied the game at 1-1 late in the first period and it remained an even contest until 16:47 of the third when Vancouver blueliner Alexander Edler collected the game-winner with 3:13 minutes remaining in regulation time.

Arizona was never great this season, but the Coyotes haven’t even won a game in anything other than a shootout since Feb. 3. They’ve also dropped eight straight contests, bringing them down to 21-44-8 this season.

That collapse has resulted in Arizona challenging Buffalo for last place in the NHL and the guarantee of getting one of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. The 29th spot is significantly less desirable because you only get a 13.5% chance of winning the first pick (presumably Connor McDavid) in the lottery and it becomes possible that you will end up moving down to the third slot, which would put McDavid and Eichel out of reach.

This win has given the Canucks a six-point lead over Los Angeles in the battle for a playoff spot. With just three weeks remaining in the regular season, that’s a very strong position for Vancouver to be in.