Photo Credit: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL slapped Jacob Markstrom’s Vezina calibre season in the face and it’s not ok

The Vancouver Canucks continue to get slapped in the face by the league.

This time it came with a ludicrous list that saw Jacob Markstrom ranked 13th in a “power rankings” list of goaltenders who are going to be there when the NHL returns to play this summer.

It’s a horrible list.

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Markstrom deserves to be in the Vezina Trophy conversation for the amazing season that he had this year. But instead of correctly ranking Markstrom, the 13 staff members who created this mockery of a list decided to simply look at wins and losses and decided that Braden Holtby and his .898 save percentage deserves to be in the top 10.

Six of the 13 writers didn’t even have Jacob Markstrom in their top 16 — proving that some people don’t even know that the Vancouver Canucks exist.

This season there were 22 goaltenders that played in 40 games or more. Out of those goalies, Jacob Markstrom ranks first in shots against per 60, saves per 60 and is fifth in the league for the lowest average distance of shot faced.

He singlehandedly won games on a team that was near the bottom of the league at controlling the shot share. In 40% of Jacob Markstrom’s starts, he faced 35 or more shots. Through those games where Markstrom faced 35 or more shots, the Canucks were 13-4-0.

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Not only that, but Markstrom was the only goaltender in the entire league who did not give up a clear sight goal all season. For those that don’t know, a clear sight shot is when a shooter is in position with half a second of clear vision on the puck before it was released. Markstrom didn’t allow one of those to get past him.

Not. One.

He had to play at an astonishingly high level for a Canucks team that was 30th in the league when it came to giving up shots and scoring chances.

With Markstrom in net, the Canucks were outshot 1317-1420 (-103) while they outscored their opponents 130-117 (+13). Markstrom was second in the league when it came to the goals saved stat. According to Kevin Woodley of InGoal Magazine, Markstrom saved 20.16 goals this season, trailing only Connor Hellybuyck, who, wouldn’t you know it, is right there in the Vezina conversation.

The NHL website continues to put out crap stories that struggle to mention the Vancouver Canucks.

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Yes, the Canucks’ home games start at 10 PM Eastern Time, but they still count.

It’s articles like this that make me believe that Quinn Hughes has zero chance of winning the Calder trophy. Cale Makar has more goals and points per game, and that is enough for many who simply seem to be looking at the NHL.com stats tab to form their opinions.

Markstrom put in arguably one of the top five seasons from a goaltender this season. His lack of playoff experience is not enough to immediately drop him down to 13th on this trash list.

This most recent “power rankings” article by NHL.com gives a quick breakdown of each goaltender. Most of these blurbs include a stat about the goaltender, talk about their history or mention something from the season that they had. Here are a few examples:

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Ben Bishop:

Bishop was eighth in GAA and save percentage among goalies to play at least 30 games. He helped the Lightning reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, and was runner-up for the Vezina Trophy in 2015-16 and last season.

Elvis Merzlikins:

Merzlikins overcame a difficult start to his rookie season to become one of the best goalies in the NHL from Dec. 31 to when the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. He was 0-4-4 with an .889 save percentage and 3.41 GAA in his first 10 games, including eight starts. He was 13-5-4 with a .935 save percentage, 1.97 GAA and five shutouts in his final 23 games, all starts.

These are fine. They mention some kindergarten stats about the goalies while some of the other goalies’ playoff histories are mentioned.

Now, here’s what they wrote about Jacob Markstrom:

Markstrom has played 272 regular-season games but has not been in a Stanley Cup Playoff game. He can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

What in the world is this?

This is what six-year-old me used to write about Felix Potvin in my grade one reports.

A person who has never bothered to watch a game of hockey in their life but looked at Markstrom’s CapFriendly page would be able to tell you this information.

Markstrom is nominated for the Bill Masterton trophy because of the perseverance that he showed this season. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what my mental state would be if I lost my father. I’m sure that some of you readers have dealt with this horrible news and I feel for you. It would throw my head into a whirlwind.

As this tragic event happened to Markstrom, he somehow went out and lead this Canucks team on a nightly basis. Upon returning from Sweden after a leave of absence granted by the Canucks on December 2nd, Markstrom went 15-9-1 for the remainder of the season. He posted a .920 save percentage in those 25 games and led the Canucks into a playoff spot.

So yeah, he’s played in 272 games and is going to be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

He’s also had one of the best seasons for a goaltender in this league and it’s too bad the league can’t recognize that.