Dec 31, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Shawn Matthias (18) carries the puck up ice past New York Rangers defenseman John Moore (17) in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Shawn Matthias Can’t Catch a Break

Dec 31, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Shawn Matthias (18) carries the puck up ice past New York Rangers defenseman John Moore (17) in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports


In my last post I mentioned that Shawn Matthias was someone I was hoping the Panthers would keep since he brought something to the table which this team needs: speed. I really entertained the idea of seeing Matthias on a line with Quinton Howden and Rocco Grimaldi due to the speed of those players.
Nonetheless however, it was a great deal to send him to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Roberto Luongo as that will stabilize our goaltending department for years to come.

I do see lots of talent though from Matthias and Vancouver will find out game after game that they have someone fairly special in their hands. If you watched the Canucks-Stars game last night you saw Matthias as one of the best players on the ice for Vancouver.

What is heartbreaking though (I can’t help but have sympathy for the guy) is that Matthias has been put in a locker room that seems to have a worse environment than the one he has experienced here in South Florida for the past 2 years. And what will not help is that Jacob Markstrom went along for the ride.

The Vancouver Canucks are going through a really bad slump right now. Kevin Bieksa in an interview after the game against the Stars mentioned that “if this isn’t rock bottom I don’t know what is.”

Matthias knows what rock bottom is and if Bieksa asked him he would say “it’s coming soon if Markstrom is considered the goalie of the franchise.” Obviously Matthias wouldn’t say that but he knows how deflating it is to a team when your goalie lets in easy shots. Can that locker room afford any more deflation? Only time will tell when they rely on a goalie that lets in 1 goal for every 10 shots faced.

Markstrom had his first chance as a Canuck last night in the third period. Tru hoping frehockey-reference.com/players/l/lacked01.html”>Eddie Lack to get scored on as much as he could so I could see Marky step up to the plate. I had to. I had to see if Markstrom changed or not. I had to find out if the future that we all raved about for Markstrom was yesterday of if the future will always really end up being in the future.

Marky faced a total of 5 shots in the third period. He got scored on once. That is a .800% SV. What will happen when he plays for an entire game? The goal he let in, and I mean LET in, was the one to complete Tyler Seguin’s hat trick. It was a shot from the corner, a “no angle” shot. The puck squirted through Markys right arm and found its way over the line on a harmless shot.

How many times have you seen that happen in South Florida? Classic Jacob Markstrom. The problem with Marky is that he is not aggressive. He doesn’t come out to challenge the shot or close the angle.

You simply cannot have that style of play when you are 6’6″. Your height starts working as a disadvantage because now you have to play tetris with your body to close the gaps between you and the pipes as half of your body is sticking out of the net. The whole point of being a goalie is to put as much body to cover the space between the pipes as possible. It’s like filling a box with sticks, there will be holes.

Marky hides under the pipes as if he was expecting something to fall on his head. He is not aggressive. Matthias knows this Markstrom way too well and for a second he was able to forget about it when Tim Thomas started playing consistently for the Panthers.

Now Matthias is back with him and if Markstrom continues being Markstrom then the locker room will only get worse. Except this time the locker room is under intense scrutiny from a much bigger hockey market.

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Tags: Florida Panthers Jacob Markstrom Shawn Matthias

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