The Vancouver Canucks’ team MVP could be Jacob Markstrom, J.T. Miller or Quinn Hughes. Today, we look at why Markstrom should be considered most valuable.
The 50th year for the Vancouver Canucks was a memorable one, to say the least. The COVID-19 virus struck late in the season and changed the layout of the remainder of the regular season and playoffs for good. The Canucks were on the final stretch of games with the hopes of punching their ticket to the postseason for the first time in five worldly trips around the sun. That, unfortunately, did not happen… at least for now, the hockey universe is on hold.
But, the Canucks did have an abundance of players that contributed to their heroic season. Three top-quality players, in particular, stand out above the rest. Day one was J.T. Miller. Day two was Quinn Hughes. Today, we take a look at Jacob Markstrom, (the 2018-19 MVP) and review his best season to date.
The case for Jacob Markstrom being the Canucks MVP:
Last year, after a long and determined journey to the crease, Markstrom finally flourished into the starting goaltender, Jim Benning and the rest of Canucks Nation knew he could be. December 2018 was the turning point that some people questioned wouldn’t last coming into 2019-20. People were dead wrong when Markstrom came to play.
He’s simply been lights out for Vancouver, and nothing less than that. Head coach, Travis Green leaned hard on Markstrom all season long and it’s impossible to know exactly how far down the standings the Canucks would have fallen without their shining star. But to put things in perspective, Markstrom fell to injury on February 22nd with a minor meniscus tear, and the Canucks took a nosedive and lost five of their next eight games looking lost without Marky.
Things weren’t exactly looking positive for the Canucks at that point. With Coronavirus putting the NHL on pause it was almost a blessing. More time for Markstrom to heal up, ride in on his high horse and save the day! With Markstrom though, Vancouver’s record was 23-16-4, a very good reason to want him back in the lineup.
On top of that, the 29-year-old snuck into the 2020 All-Star Game, and rightfully so, the big man in blue and green made his first appearance as an NHL All-Star. He was voted in to replace Marc-Andre Fleury, but it felt like Markstrom deserved to have been there all along. Nonetheless, he made it to the special week and had a lot of fun doing it.
Lastly, Markstrom held a league-high in stolen wins. Eight steals for Markstrom with no other goalie insight! Another crazy accomplishment for Markstrom was where the Swedish puck stopper faced at least 40 shots in a game, he won nearly every time too. Eight times during his 43 starts he was forced to face a minimum of 40 pucks, but seven times he came out of the victor. No wonder the #1 goaltender is worthy of the team MVP award. Don’t forget about his 49 save shutout against the Chicago Blackhawks either. It was a record-setting performance!
An absolutely dominant season for Markstrom that’s been put on hold for the time being. GM, Jim Benning must do everything in his power to sign the upcoming UFA. He’s valuable to this hockey club, and nobody knows who the Canucks are without him.