After ‘nightmare’ start for Markstrom, Canucks face goaltending conundrum

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Four shots.

Three goals.

And that was the end of Jacob Markstrom’s season debut for the Vancouver Canucks, who went on to lose 6-2 at home to San Jose on Tuesday.

Markstrom only lasted 7:45 before Eddie Lack had to come off the bench, the latter’s night of rest quickly canceled.

“Not the start I wanted or the team wanted, and I’ve got to be better than that,” said Markstrom, per The Province. “I wanted all three goals back. It’s tough right now and I’m very disappointed in myself. It’s going to be a tough night but tomorrow is a new day. It was kind of a nightmare but it happens and you’ve got to refocus.”

When the 25-year-old next gets a chance is uncertain. Vancouver’s number one, Ryan Miller, could be out until the playoffs. Assuming the Canucks even make the playoffs, that is. Their cushion is down to three points after last night’s action.

Looking ahead, Vancouver has 14 more games in the month of March, including two sets of back-to-backs on Mar. 21-22 and 30-31.

Can Lack hold out until those back-to-backs? It would mean playing the next seven or eight in a row, on top of the six straight in which he’s already appeared, either as a starter or reliever.

If not, what can they expect of Markstrom after what happened against the Sharks?

“A game like that, he just has to forget about it,” said coach Willie Desjardins. “You get off to the wrong start and everything goes bad. The next time he’s got to bounce back and have a good one. Sometimes, you need to reset a bit and think about it. I just think it’s like a pitcher in baseball. You can have a Cy Young winner and sometimes he doesn’t have a good day. What does that mean? It means when his rotation comes up again, he goes again and I expect him to play well — that’s what I expect out of our goalies.”

Vancouver’s next game is Thursday in Arizona.