Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

What We Learned: Goaltending is killing the Calgary Flames

It must be said, first and foremost, that Mike Smith has spent the last two games goalie-ing the Calgary Flames.

Obviously, Game 1 was a write-off for everyone whose job doesn’t explicitly entail putting the puck in the net, and Game 2 was another one where neither netminder covered themselves in glory.

But when both teams need a save and one of the goalies is being outdueled by Smith, who had a negative GSAx in Games 1 and 2 of this series, then you’re obviously just not doing enough to keep your team in it. And Jacob Markström has, flatly, been terrible in this second round.

It’s easy to laugh about a 9-6 win, but the reality is that when you almost blow leads of 5-1 and 6-2, your goaltender just isn’t showing up for you. Yes, some of that is definitely on the defense, and even more of it is simply playing against Connor McDavid in gorilla mode, but Markstrom is simply making it much too easy and, again, he’s getting shown up by a guy who gave up five totals goals in the first few minutes of both Games 1 and 2.

He was pulled after 40 minutes Sunday night in Game 3 and through his eight periods of work in this series, Markstrom has allowed about 5.1 more goals than expected. In three games, that’s calamitous.

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This article is about:
NHL Calgary Flames Edmonton Oilers NHL Jacob Markström Connor McDavid Mike Smith
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