It’s tough being a goalie. Whenever a kid puts on that mask and glove for the first time, they have to come to terms with the fact that they’ll be playing mostly in isolation, doing the crucial work of net protection as their skater friends laugh it up all over the rest of ice. To be a goalie is to make peace with that FOMO, unless you are Calgary Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom has a habit of treating the boundaries of his territory as mere suggestions, and holy cow did that ever show up again during the second period of Calgary’s 5-1 loss to Vancouver on Wednesday night.
At first, Markstrom’s wanderlust was good and helpful. In the opening minute, Canuck boy Tanner Pearson got the puck with plenty of speed and came flying into the zone. Unfortunately for him, Markstrom decided that an all-out attack way outside the crease was his best course of option. Before Pearson could really even think about shooting, he suddenly found himself blown up by a sliding Swede in the butterfly position. As they point out on commentary, Markstrom is five inches taller than Pearson, but also, he’s covered in pads! The goaltender is the one who should feel significantly less afraid of a collision, and it shows.
However, Markstrom’s little power trip came back to bite him later on in the second, when he tried to pull the same trick on Bo Horvat and got embarrassed for being so far out of position. Like Pearson, Horvat received the puck in stride and was approaching the net for a scoring opportunity at an alarming speed. Like Pearson, Horvat suddenly found himself facing down an unexpected enemy barreling toward him. But unlike Pearson, Horvat had the wherewithal to quickly move to his left, avoid being blasted, and fire a shot into an unprotected net. Fool me once, etc, etc.
Just let Markstrom be a defenseman on his off nights, honestly. Let the guy get it out of his system.