Back from a personal five day leave of absence for family reasons, Markstrom is keeping private the grave circumstances that took him home to Sweden and whatever emotions they have caused. After rejoining the Canucks on Friday Markstrom was able to clear his mind and focus his emotions in a remarkable 38 save performance against the New York Rangers.
“Marky is one of the best guys I’ve ever played with,” Canuck winger Tim Schaller said. “We all have his back. I’ll go to battle for that guy any day. That says a lot about him as a person. It’s pretty inspiring to see what he’s doing.”
“Great, just great,” forward Tyler Motte said. “Coming off his absence and coming right back in and having a night like he had tonight, that provides a lot of energy for our group.” Markstrom made 16 saves in the final period. That included a two and a half minute siege by the Rangers late in the third when the Canucks’ fourth line of Schaller, Motte and Jay Beagle was trapped in its own zone.
“The puck stayed out of the net; that’s what I remember about it,” Markstrom said. “It’s not going to be so pretty always, especially on a back to back. This is a tough and fun building to come into and play. Our performance in the first two periods was super impressive, but I liked the end of the third, when we battled, even better.”
“That’s what you miss being away from playing games with your teammates. To have a performance like that the last 10, 15 minutes, that’s fun to see.” Outshot 17-6 in the third period, the Canucks left it largely up to Markstrom to hold the lead.
Markstrom helped the Canucks win 3-2 over the New York Rangers Sunday after noon.
“It’s nice to be back,” Markstrom said.