After suffering what is reportedly a groin tear in Saturday's 6-2 loss to Carolina in Raleigh, Florida Panthers starting goaltender Jose Theodore has been placed on injured reserve and will be out for a minimum of six weeks.
With the season approaching the halfway mark and the actual severity of the injury unknown, it is not inconceivable that we have seen the last of Theodore in a Panthers uniform. That would be an unfortunate ending as Theodore was a huge part of ending the club's playoff jinx last season. It would have been nice to see him finish out the campaign by returning to the form we saw last year.
Jacob Markstrom was immediately called up from the San Antonio Rampage and expected to start Sunday's rematch against the Hurricanes but an airline snafu with his equipment relegated him to backup duty.
With the Panthers surrendering a league-worst 82 goals so far this season, it would seem a given that Markstrom will be given every opportunity to take the ball and run with it as Theodore's backup, Scott Clemmensen, has struggled mightily, posting a hefty 4.15 GAA in his 10 appearances this season.
Markstrom has appeared in a total of 10 NHL games, posting a 2.71 GAA, a .919 save percentage and a 2-7-1 record.
The Panthers problems go well beyond the goaltending but the lack of consistency from the position has been a major issue. Here's hoping that Markstrom can deliver quality starts and help spark the club to some much-needed wins. It's time for a close encounter of the Swedish kind.