The Canuck Way Mailbag: Demko, Edler, defence pairings, jerseys, more

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Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Demko, Podkolzin & Flames rivalry

I honestly think we are going to see the Thatcher Demko we saw during the last three games of the second round against the Golden Knights. He probably won’t post the same stingy numbers, but I refuse to believe that those games were just a product of someone on a roll. There was just something about how calm and controlled he was that gave me confidence that he could build on that performance and become a regular starter in 2020-21.

With Braden Holtby replacing Jacob Markstrom, Demko will have another capable veteran goaltender to bounce ideas off of and mentor him to greatness. More importantly, goaltending coach Ian Clark will also be there to help him hone his game and adjust to the heavier workload of being a starter. Basically what I am saying is, of all the changes that have happened to the roster, Demko should be the least of our worries right now.

Entry-level contracts (ELCs) are like gold right now, you should hold onto them as long as humanly possible. With the upcoming monster contracts that will be given to Hughes and Elias Pettersson next season, the Canucks will have to rely on the ELCs of Podkolzin and Hoglander to fill out the roster. With limited money available to sign quality free agents, they will be required to play significant roles in the top-nine in order to have a chance at the playoffs.

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If both Podkolzin and Hoglander are able to realize their top-six forward potential within their ELC window, the Canucks will be better off for it. They already missed their chance with Hughes and Pettersson, so it’s imperative that they don’t miss the boat with them.

The rivalry with the Calgary Flames has always been fun to watch, even without the ex-Canucks littering their roster. Though, it should be extra fun this season with Markstrom, Tanev, and Josh Leivo going against their former teammates in Pettersson, Hughes, and company. It should also be interesting to see how they adjust to playing against Markstrom, rather than playing in front of him.

As for who has the bigger heart, I am going with Pettersson. His desire to win and be the best has proven to be unmatched. We saw what he could do under the bright lights of the playoffs, so I am looking forward to what has in store for us next season. The adjustments he made to his game following the physicality he had to fight through against the Minnesota Wild was very impressive, as he dominated the rest of the playoffs with seven goals and 18 points in 17 games.

The fact that Pettersson never went home after the playoffs tells me that he was not satisfied with how the 2019-20 season ended. He didn’t just stay in Vancouver because of the pandemic, no, he is already practicing at Rogers Arena ahead of everyone else. That alone should tell you how much heart and determination he has. The Flames, along with the rest of the NHL should watch out.