Vancouver Canucks: 3 takeaways from loss to Columbus Blue Jackets

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VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 24: Vancouver Canucks Center Bo Horvat (53) stands in front of Columbus Blue Jackets Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) and Defenceman David Savard (58) during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on March 20, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks took on the Columbus Blue Jackets in their 11th back-to-back of the season, and were blown out by a score of 5-0.

Is it just me or does it feel like the Vancouver Canucks have played a lot of back-to-backs this year? The number is eleven to be exact — and Thatcher Demko has started four of the later games in those back-to-backs.

This is still Markstrom’s team

As we get ready to turn the final page on this season, I watched last night’s game and wondered a few things about the goaltenders the Canucks have.

They’ve got Demko, who has looked impressive at times, but they’ve also got Jacob Markstrom, who has really proven that he’s ready to be an everyday starter. In my opinion, Markstrom has been the second best player for the Canucks this season, behind only Elias Pettersson.

A case can easily be made that Markstrom has been more valuable for the Canucks this season, but in my eyes, it’s still Pettersson. Nonetheless, Markstrom has been a rock in goal for the Canucks this season.

It’s interesting because Demko has paid his dues in the American Hockey League. Tabbed the goalie of the future since the day he was drafted back in 2014, Canucks fans were counting down the days until Demko was the everyday starter.

But now, with the play of Markstrom this year, how can the team tell him that he’s going to be the backup to the young Demko? It’s simple — they won’t. Markstrom will be the starter if he continues this level of play.

Demko’s play last night wasn’t too great, but he didn’t have much help in front of him. Then again, neither does Markstrom on most nights. He still finds ways to pick up wins even when the Canucks turn in a poor effort in front of him.

Demko still has a ways to go before he’s gunning for the starting job, but who knows, maybe he will come into camp next year motivated and ready to challenge for the spot.

Having two goalies fight for a starting job is a good problem to have for the Canucks. Training camp next year will be a battle between Markstrom and Demko, but for now, this is one-hundred percent Markstrom’s team.

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