The Jacob Markstrom era has arrived for the Florida Panthers.
Long touted as one of the best goalie prospects around, Markstrom should be in line for his first extended action in the NHL with veteran Jose Theodore out 5-6 weeks with a leg injury.
Even Panthers general manager Dale Tallon acknowledged that Markstrom's time has come.
"You'd have to say yes," Tallon said Tuesday morning. "We've got a lot of confidence in the young man and he's got a lot of confidence in his abilities. He's big and strong. We were hoping to hold off a little bit, but let's go. Let's see if he can do it, and I'm very confident that he can."
With both Theodore and veteran backup Scott Clemmensen struggling, Markstrom was called up from San Antonio of the American Hockey League and started against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 22 and the Boston Bruins two days later.
Even though Florida lost both games, Markstrom acquitted himself quite well, stopping 59 of 65 shots. His save percentage of .915 in those two games was much better than those compiled this season by Theodore (.893) and Clemmensen (.859).
Even so, Markstrom was sent back to San Antonio after his two starts before getting the call again.
"He's a kid on his way up," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "Obviously, with two goalies right now it gives us the option that Jacob is going to get a good body of work here and be able to get away from and not talk about potential and get to the real deal. I have a strong belief in him as a person and as a goaltender."
Struggling Panthers ready for Markstrom era
NHL.com | Mar 5