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Is Jacob Markstrom Florida’s goalie savior?

Aug 3, 2013, 4:43 PM EDT

Jacob Markstrom AP

For the past two summers, rumors swirled around the Florida Panthers concerning their interest in Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. For the past two summers, the Panthers never made a move. The reason? 23 year-old goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Markstrom was the organization’s top prospect for years before getting thrown into the starting job last season when Jose Theodore‘s season was ended by injury. GM Dale Tallon has been Markstrom’s biggest fan and has made it clear he wants to stick by him.

It hasn’t been easy for him so far as a pro. Last season after a particularly brutal 7-1 loss to Washington, Markstrom was called out by coach Kevin Dineen. Last year’s Panthers were the worst team in the league so you can hang many of the troubles he had on that.

Two seasons ago when he got his first real taste of NHL action, he did well, stats-wise, in seven games. While he went just 2-4-1 he put up a .925 save percentage and a 2.66 goals-against average. The former number will put you in the top-ten amongst goalies most seasons.

The question the Panthers have to ask themselves here is: Which guy is the real Markstrom? The kid from two seasons showed a lot of the reasons why they’ve stayed out of the Luongo fray.

If he turns out to be more like the player we saw last season, however, perhaps Tallon might want to keep Mike Gillis’ phone number handy just in case.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    You cannot blame Markstrom for struggling a little after being thrown to the wolves on a team that was missing established NHL talent last season. I’ve seen Markstrom listed at both 6’4″ and 6’6″, but either way you can’t teach size. And goalies don’t usually hit their full stride til 25-27, so I think there’s a chance he can develop into the next Pekka Rinne. Worst case he probably becomes a serviceable starter.

  2. jacketsfan7 - Aug 3, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I’ve seen this kid live and I can truly say , yes , he won’t “save” the panthers , but he can be the next rinne or mike smith

  3. LampyB - Aug 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I wish Markstrom was on a better team so that we’d be able to see how he performs when a team stands up in front of him. Tough to win when your team looks like a bunch of monkeys.

  4. bizzmoneyb - Aug 7, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    it doesnt matter who the goalie is if you cant score goals. no such thing as a 0-0 win.

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