After finishing a four game homestand with an 0-1-3 record, and giving up two 2 goal leads twice, and being shutout twice, the Florida Panthers have decided something needs to change. General Manager Dale Tallon announced earlier today that Jacob Markstrom has been recalled from the Panthers AHL affiliate the San Antonio Rampage, and joined the team for practice this morning. Markstrom arrives with a 16-15-2 record that includes three shutouts and a 2.65 GAA. Markstrom has played very well of late, posting an 8-4-0 record in his last 12 starts, and has given up two goals or less in 11 of his past 16 starts.
The Panthers who after 15 games have a 4-7-4 record, find themselves having difficulty keeping the puck out of the net. They have given up a league leading 56 goals, while only scoring 35 themselves. Both Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen have had a diffcult start to the season, however, the amount of goals being scored against Florida is not all their fault. As fellow writer Dave Lasseter commented the other day, of the three Toronto goals that were scored against Florida Monday night, there wasn’t a red sweater between the shooter and the goaltender. Thus indicating that any chance that Theodore had of making a save was slim. This is a movie that we are seeing all to often, as for some reason their is an apparent breakdown of defensive coverage that is widespread amongst the team.
Without a doubt the goaltending has to be better, but the defense from the forwards to the blue liners has to be better as well. Calling up Markstrom is a move that indicates that enough is enough, and that we’ll likely see him play very soon. The question is when. Whether Markstrom makes an impact remains to be seen, but if nothing else, a very clear message is being sent that things cannot continue as they have been. Markstrom who has been touted as the goaltender of the future may get his chance to see if he indeed is that player.
George Richards of the Miami Herald had a chance to speak with Markstrom earlier today:
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