Coming off a Vezina candidate-level season, Markstrom has sputtered hard out of the gate, with a career-worst .889 save percentage in a minimum of 17 games. The lowest point of the season, however, came Thursday night when just seconds into the Flames game against the Montreal Canadiens, Markstrom was on the receiving end of one of the most baffling goals of this season.
When asked about the goal postgame, Markstrom was pretty blunt in his assessment of how things have been going up to this point.
“I suck at hockey right now,” the 32-year-old said.
To make matters worse, that goal would prove pivotal, as the goaltenders matched each other save for save from that point on, with the Canadiens eking out a narrow 2-1 victory in Calgary.
“I thought the guys did a great job and once again I’ve got to be better,” Markstrom said. “I suck right now.”
Hockey fans also couldn’t believe what they were seeing, as the netminder left Twitter befuddled at what exactly they had just witnessed to open up the game.
Markstrom’s struggles have put Calgary in a difficult position, as they sit outside of a playoff position with a pedestrian 10-10-3 record in the early going.
Combined with the club’s struggles to put the puck in the net — Elias Lindholm’s 17 points lead the team, and only two other forwards have more than 15 — and a club that was of the offseason's biggest movers and shakers suddenly looks as though it could be in trouble.
“The guys that had the good chances are the guys that need to finish,” Darryl Sutter said. “If you look at it, they’re your top guys and had a lot of good looks tonight … There were several opportunities that were just player and goalie, so finish.”
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