This journey in hockey has not been easy for Jacob Markstrom, but the goalie’s past week was probably the hardest he has had.

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.

Vancouver Canuck coach Travis Green, who has been around for the resurrection of Markstrom’s career and the 29-year-old’s ascension from waiver-wire reject to National Hockey League starter, has long marvelled at the goaltender’s drive and mental strength.

But Sunday was something else all together.

After rejoining the Canucks on Friday and getting in only one team practice and a skills session with goaltending coach Ian Clark, Markstrom was able to clear his mind and focus his emotions in a remarkable 38-save performance against the New York Rangers.