In an ideal world, the Florida Panthers would have the present (Tim Thomas) and future (Jacob Markstrom) covered in net. In reality, Thomas is injured and Markstrom’s playing like a guy who isn’t ready for the NHL.
When asked by the Miami Herald if he was “happy” with Markstrom’s work as of late, Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen wasn’t exactly emphatically in his young netminder’s corner.
“Well,” Dineen paused for a few seconds. “It’s always easy to sit there over the last couple of days. I go back to what I said. I have healthy bodies out of the lineup and it’s easy to always be explaining why and to lean toward the negative. At the end of it, we need a win versus St. Louis and goaltending is a big part of that.
“I’ve seen Jake go out and win us a hockey game and the two points versus St. Louis, he will have to be a big part of that if I decide to go that way. [Scott Clemmensen] is always an option.”
Not exactly an A+ on the report card, there.
One cannot blame Dineen considering Markstrom’s numbers, which are bad both team-wise (1-4-2 record) and individually (.887 save percentage and 3.19 GAA). It’s hard to imagine the St. Louis Blues making life a whole lot easier for the big Swede, either.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see Markstrom sent back to the AHL – the first year of his current deal would allow it – as it seems like now isn’t the right time for Markstrom. Much like with Winnipeg and Ondrej Pavelec, Florida’s brass must be getting at least a bit nervous about a guy who’s supposed to be the goalie of the future.