Tag: Jacob Markstrom

Read between the lines: Ryan Miller expected to start for Canucks in season finale


It’s possible by the time the puck drops between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers on Saturday evening, the Canucks will have already secured home ice advantage for its first round series.

That depends on how the Calgary Flames do in their regular season finale earlier in the day.

The Canucks and Flames will meet in the opening round, however where that series starts has yet to be determined. It all gets figured out on Saturday.

Calgary plays the Winnipeg Jets in the afternoon. A Flames win would then force the Canucks to earn at least a single point against the Oilers in order to clinch home ice advantage.

So, that late game between the Canucks and Oilers could end up being completely meaningless, or there could be something on the line for Vancouver.

Based on the comments of Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins following his team’s win over Arizona on Thursday, it sounds like Ryan Miller will start in net, no matter the situation.

Miller, in the first year of a three-year, $18 million deal, hasn’t played since Feb. 22 due to injury. The Canucks may need a strong performance — from someone who hasn’t started in almost two months — to ensure they begin their series with the Flames at Rogers Arena.

Miller backed up Eddie Lack against the Coyotes, with the Canucks sending Jacob Markstrom back to the AHL earlier in the day.

And there is only one chance remaining to get Miller into game action before the post-season begins.

“You have to have two goalies going into the playoffs. You have to have two guys,” said Desjardins.

“It would be tough for Ryan to end up playing in a playoff game (when) he hasn’t played in for however long. Eddie’s played great. He doesn’t have anything else he needs to prove right now. He’s played really well, but we need both goalies ready to play.”

AHL announces first- and second-team all-stars

Pittsburgh Penguins Headshots

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.