One finished fourth in Vasina’s vote last season, the other finished fourth in blocked shots.
Calgary hockey fans have no doubt realized that the team’s most expensive signings on the West Coast will help tighten the defense for the Flames.
But their Saturday dome debut was a little over the top.
Perfect in fact.
At the end of the night Jacob Markstrom stopped all 32 shots thrown in his path, as Chris Tanev came in a close second with eight blocks in a 3-0 win over – you guessed it – their former team, Vancouver Canox.
“He’s been doing it for me since I came to Vancouver,” the 30-year-old told the Teneb’s human defense.
“He’s very suitable for here and the locker room. (Team members) already love him and they see why I liked him before. I’m lucky he has him here in Calgary.”
Their chemistry was fully demonstrated at the end of the opening period, when the duo found themselves in familiar territory while clinging to a one-goal advantage.
Down two men for 82 seconds as Canax’s glorious power play presses hard, Markstrom and Tanab put up a clinic.
Shooting Block Clinic.
At the end of Teneev’s 2:29 minute alongside alongside veteran Mark Giordano he blocked a number of difficult shots while closing enough lanes to allow just two shots to Markstrom by Brock Boiser.
“It gave us a bit of a three-on-five momentum,” said Markstrom, whose club scored all three goals in the man’s advantage. “Our special teams were the makers of the difference today. I thought our killers did a great job blocking shots. When the shots came I could see them coming – they kept clean lanes.”
What was not clear was how strange it would be to deal for the first time with so many familiar faces.
“It’s weirder than I thought it would be,” said Markstrom, who ended a lengthy tenure in Vancouver when he signed a $ 36 million deal with the Flames in October.
“From the warm-up I usually look over and feel a sense of group and see the shooters. But I just focused on the pocket and what I did. It’s weird because they know me and I know them and we spent so much time off the ice.”
Markstrom came in the evening well aware of the power of Canox’s top six, in which the team sat between the top five power games in the league last season.
The warehouse of all four power play attempts, the Canoxes now stand at 0 to 11 this season – a hard ball to swallow for a team that played its third game in four nights.
“He played well tonight, I’m not saying he did not,” Horbet said when asked about Markstrom. “He stole from us games in previous years, so we know how he can be. (But) we have to get in his eyes and wreak havoc in front of the net and we did not do that in front of him tonight.”
They tried, to no avail.
The Flames scored a power play goal in each period, giving the Canox five goals against power in their last five periods.
“Special teams were a big factor in tonight’s hockey game,” said Flames coach Joff Ward, whose club has won in three of six power games. “We keep it simple and get a network fee. At the beginning of the season this is a good start.
“The three-on-five killing could have been a huge momentum for them, but in the end it would have built good momentum for us. I thought both (Markstrom and Tanb) played exceptionally well tonight. The game was a bit special for them but what they would talk about was effort. Pay more for the team. “
In contrast to the season opener of Flames in Winnipeg where Fisko impressed an impressive first period with two sills, they followed a solid opening period on Saturday with a talented second period. It was late in the same frame when Andrew Mangiapana passed a backless pass looking behind his back to Dilon a screaming bear who hit Brad Holtby with a rocket on his left shoulder.
Matthew Takachuk knocked on a rebound from the opening late in the third to complete the score on the night he saw Sean Monahan open the festivities with a light tap to complete a tic-tac-toe game.
The Canox will get another crack at improving penalty kills and beating Markstrom on Monday night.
Thank you for all you have done for our organization and our community! pic.twitter.com/yngjMWeMhk
– Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 17, 2021
News and comments
Juso Valimaki played his first game in the dome in 606 days due to injuries.
• Canaxes forward Tanner Pearson limped into the locker room at the end of the first period after being hit in the right ankle by Sutter Knight Schmidt from the spot. It dates back to the beginning of the second period.
The flames opened the evening with a tribute to veteran group president Ken King who passed away on March 11th. The crew also saluted Sgt. Andrew Harnet who lost his life during a traffic stop on New Year’s Eve.
Recognition by Jombotron of the charity work and service of former flame guard Travis Monique came in the middle of the first period, pulling stick taps from several flame players.
Earlier that day, Monique, who chose the post-season game for family reasons, was asked what had changed to make him comfortable playing again: “I don’t really expect everyone to agree or understand my decision. I did what I did. As a father and difficult decision as far as we know it was right. If I had to do it again in these circumstances I would not change anything I did.What we know now about the world we live in, and the precautions we can take, the world is quite honestly different now than it was seven, nine months ago.I am confident in the ability of the Canox and the NHL Keep us safe and healthy. “