It took him seven years, 115 career starts (129 games), and 3,576 saves, but Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom finally recorded his first career shutout in the NHL.
Markstrom posted 30 saves on route to the Canucks 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
The 27-year-old was getting close to setting the all-time record for most games played without the vaunted goose egg, but finally accomplished the feat, and he’s pretty thrilled that he doesn’t have to deal with the media bugging him anymore.
Had Markstrom gone three more outings with letting in at least one goal, he would’ve tied Pokey Reddick with the most amount of games played without a shutout. He could’ve had it on Saturday night when the Canucks defeated the Leafs 2-1 if it wasn’t for James van Riemsdyk’s goal with 2:52 left in the final frame.
The big Swede had taken a shutout into the third period only three times in 86 games as a Canuck, illustrating bad luck more than anything. While goaltenders love it when they don’t allow any goals in, consistency is key, and if you’re constantly stopping the puck and giving your team a chance to win, then the shutouts will eventually come. For Markstrom, that wait took a little longer than most, and his .917 save percentage this season – which is well above his career .907 save percentage – would suggest that Markstrom’s best season to date in the NHL was the perfect year to finally grab the goose egg.
So, which other goalies have never grabbed the donut before? Thanks to the fine folks over at Hockey Reference, we have a list, and there’s a few active tenders on it.
Laurent Brossoit is the only current goaltender that’s in the NHL on that list, with 22 games played so far. With the way the Brossoit and Oilers are playing this season, the 24-year-old backup might be making his way pretty quickly up that list with his .872 save percentage, although a shutout could come at really any time. Former Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin sits at 50, but since he’s playing in Austria, that number likely won’t be increasing anytime soon.
It’s pretty remarkable that Markstrom took this long to finally notch one, and the disparity between him and Brossoit. To add insult to injury, Canucks backup Anders Nilsson posted two shutouts in his first three games in a Canucks uniform this season, but all is forgotten now.
Markstrom, Nilsson and the Canucks have combined for the 10th best team save percentage this season at .913, and the two ‘tendies are one of the main reasons why the Canucks are off to a surprising 14-10-4 start, putting them third in the Pacific Division.