McKenna Match of the Day: March 23 – Logan Thompson vs. Jacob Markstrom

Former NHL goalie Mike McKenna offers his daily starting goalie game of the day for Thursday. March 23, 2023:

Why I love this game:

It’s been almost six weeks since Logan Thompson played an NHL game, and during that time, the Golden Knights acquired two-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick. He’s gone 5-1-0 since joining VGK at the trade deadline. The Golden Knights have four goaltenders on one-way contracts in the NHL. Thompson was the undisputed No. 1 and represented Vegas in the NHL All-Star Game before getting injured. Can he return from injury and return to the starting job in the crowded Golden Knights crease?

To monitor :

Thompson will feel the heat with Quick in the fold and a healthy Laurent Brossoit. With just 11 regular season games left, the Golden Knights need to figure out the goalie situation. Fast. Thompson is aggressive by nature. Will he be able to stay calm and play with control? I think that’s a good question to ask. I could easily see him pressing and trying too hard in his comeback. A low-event game would be the best thing for Thompson after such a long layoff due to injury.

Markstrom’s Achilles’ heel was opening goals, and Vegas is one of the best teams in the NHL when it comes to scoring first. So keeping the Golden Knights off the scoreboard for as long as possible is paramount for Markstrom. There is nothing more for Calgary to lose. They’re four points out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and desperate for wins. Markstrom was named the team’s No. 1 by head coach Darryl Sutter not too long ago: now is the time to lead the way. I think it’s gotten more reviews than it deserves this year, but there’s no denying recent results haven’t been good enough.

What fantasy owners should do:

There’s no way Markstrom is allowing another six runs. I mean, it could happen, but what are the odds? Vegas rolls and I think they win tonight. The question is how many goals they score. I wouldn’t feel good starting Markstrom. And Thompson is a total joker coming back from injury. With 11 more games on the NHL schedule, it might be wise to look elsewhere.

Conclusion for Logan Thompson:

The No. 1 spot is probably still up for grabs. But the leash is incredibly short.

Conclusion for Jacob Markstrom:

After leading the Flames back into contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Markstrom has allowed 12 goals in his last two starts. The playoffs look like a long shot unless he plays lights in Calgary’s remaining 10 games.

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