Paris – Jacob MarkstromHer emotions rebounded like a puck on bad ice for nearly two months after the Calgary Flames lost to the Edmonton Oilers at the Battle of Alberta and were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Goalkeeper Flames had to cross the initial minimum by allowing 24 goals against the Oilers in five games in the second round of the Western Conference, including the five goals he conceded at the end of the season in a fifth game loss on May 26.
Then look ahead Johnny Goudreu He left via free agency to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 13. Follow it forward Matthew Tkachuk It trades on Florida Panthers on July 22.
That was two-thirds of Calgary’s attacking line, the top two scorers with 219 points (82 goals and 137 assists) last season, and they went right out the door.
But then a welcome rise came forward Jonathan Huberdeaua former Markstrom teammate when he played with the Panthers, and defenseman Mackenzie and jealous To the flames as the main pieces in exchange for the tackash.
Markstrom then saw Huberdeau sign an eight-year, $84 million contract on August 5, followed by center Nazim Qadri Signing a seven-year, $49 million contract on August 18.
Finally, Markstrom, the Vesina Cup runner-up, finished as the best goalkeeper in the National Hockey League last season.
“I think it’s a better team than we’ve had before,” Markstrom said. “It’s an incredible job by the front office and everyone is working on it. It makes us players really excited to be back and coming back.”
The 32-year-old offered more of his thoughts on why he thought Calgary could improve last season, when he finished first in the Pacific Division with 111 points. He also discussed the addition of Huberdeau, his rise to become one of the best goalkeepers in the NHL and more in an interview with NHL.com on the NHL Player’s European Media Tour last month.
This interview can also be heard on the “NHLTheRink” podcast, which is free and listeners can subscribe to all podcast platforms. It is also available at NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts The NHL application.
Why do you think Flames are a better team now?
“Obviously the feeling is that these guys out there, you have both Huberdeau and Kadri signing long-term deals, and they want to be there. That means a lot to anyone, whether you’re a hockey player or doing something else. If you’re in a place you want to be. In it, you’ll add some extra percentages with everything. With that said, it’s sad to have two teammates over the last couple of years and I’ve dealt with them so well, let go. I wish them well, good luck in almost every game this season except when they play With us, but I’m very excited to be back with the flame and start the season over.”
You know Jonathan Huberdeau. I grew up with him in the Florida system, and played with him there. Have you spoken to him since his acquisition and signature?
“Yes, I texted him right away after this happened and a few days later he came back to me. It was obviously surprising to him. He wasn’t expecting it to be traded. I know how it trades, but not to that extent, as it is one of the best The players are in the league and he’s being traded without knowing he’s going to be traded. I talked to him a little bit about Calgary, about the team, about the city, all the guys from the team. We have a great group of guys and he’ll fit in. I just tried to make him feel a little better, and calm his mind a little bit. He obviously signed the contract soon after and no one is happier than me about that.”
How different is Jonathan now that he’s talked to him recently and only knows him compared to when he was coming and you two first met?
“He’s an old man now. No, but he’s grown and matured. Same with me too. I was in my early twenties the last time I spent time with him and was a buddy of him. As a National Hockey League player, and because he’s one of the best players in the world, from Great to have him back as a teammate. He looks bigger. He’s thicker. He’s stronger. That was the big thing I noticed. But as a man, he’s an incredible guy, an amazing teammate. I’m excited to share the changing room with him again.”
You have said that you, as well as Huberdeau, have grown into what you are now as an NHL player. But it was a process to get here, through growing pains in Florida, to establish yourself with the Vancouver Canucks, and now take your game to Calgary. Can you describe the way you think and how you had to deal with yourself to get to where you are now because it wasn’t an easy path?
“No, definitely not, but looking back now, it’s a lot of experience. The most important thing for me is my stubbornness and my belief in myself. But there were times in my first few years when I was at the Palace and I played a few games in Florida and I felt like I could play but I didn’t know Or I didn’t know how much work you had to do to become a consistent player in the NHL. I made decisions not just to be a professional hockey player. It was like, “I’m here now and it’s okay, everything will happen.” But instead of waiting for everything to happen You know you’ll be left behind and the train will leave the station if you don’t get in. You have to make it, you have to earn it, and you have to do it You deserve it. It took longer than I clearly wanted. There was a time when Vancouver was hired from Florida and they signed Ryan Miller the following year.I was in Utica (of the American Hockey League) and that was a one time do or die.Look at yourself.I was 24 and I was in North America for five years and hadn’t established myself as an NHL goalkeeper. But going to Vancouver was a major turning point for me. You’ve got [forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin] twins there, [defenseman Alexander] idler and [forward] Louis Erickson came in there to really show me what it takes to be a top-level player in the National Hockey League.”
Can your story and path help the younger players on your team now, especially the younger goalkeepers?
“I always try. I’ve been taken care of so much and I appreciate it. I know how much it means to a young person who hasn’t really established himself to feel like they had someone who was a part of them. She looked at me and Dan Vladarthe situation. It reminds me a lot of when I was younger, how we play goalkeeper, the size and how he is as a person as well, very happy, very open. I try to tell him everything I can to help him because I know he will be a good goalkeeper in the future. It takes time, some people take longer and others shorter. “
It takes self-belief as well, because you tell him things and you might think, “Okay, he’s going to take someone’s job, but he’s not going to take mine.”
“Yeah, but it’s a healthy competition and you need to. For us last year he was a huge part of our success. I played most of the game but he came and announced a closure on his third NHL game and he had another two weeks later. I think that gave him and the players confidence too. Everyone. He loves him. He is a good man and [has] good energy. I know how I don’t play too many games and sit behind you. It’s easy not to be sad, but a little calmer because you don’t feel like you’re giving a lot to the team, but it’s very similar to who you were and knowing you have to push everyone even if you’re not playing.”
So last season in general was a great season for you and the scorer, but it didn’t end that way. Do you still carry it with you? And if so, what do you do now?
“He’s an inspiration to me. It’s been a good season but pretty much a bad season. When you talk about last season, I’m back in Sweden and people want to talk about the season, but they don’t ask about game 50. They ask about game 100 against Edmonton. Surely that holds With me. I’m past the part where you realize it ended up being repeated, but I’m going to bring it with me.”
Regardless of the results, what was it like to play at the Battle of Alberta?
Both cities, the whole county was noisy. I’m not a huge social media guy and I watch Swedish TV shows so I don’t really notice much, but everywhere you go there were Flames flags in every car window, Flames stickers. The fans were crazy. It was You have a lot of red, and the red sea in the ring. It was unbelievable. I feel the hardest part is you feel like you let the city and the flame lovers fall apart because we got a really good thing going and I know they wanted more. We wanted more too. The first reaction is You’re letting these guys down, and you don’t want you to feel that way again.”
Listen: New episode of NHLTheRink