The Calgary Flames are far from dealing with a goaltending controversy.
In Jacob Markstrom, they have a top-tier netminder capable of playing the vast majority of games. Maybe not the 70-plus Miikka Kirprusoff put together for the Flames in seven straight seasons, but 60-plus is likely. Given the early-season sample size, Markstrom has made a little more than 75 per cent of the starts through 14 games.
But it’s also clear that head coach Darryl Sutter isn’t afraid to play backup Dan Vladar against any opponent. His Flames debut came against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals in Washington. His third start on Friday was a 2-1 OT loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs – a team with a high-octane offence.
And Vladar has yet to lose in regulation.
Given the nature if the Calgary Flames’ current seven-game road swing through the Eastern Conference, you have to wonder whether the product of Prague might have earned himself the first back-to-back starts of his young career.
Here’s why rewarding Vladar on Sunday in Ottawa might be something to seriously consider.