Canucks: How do they compare to the Montreal Canadiens? (Part 1)

MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 02: Goaltender Thatcher Demko #35 of the Vancouver Canucks defends the net near Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at the Bell Centre on February 2, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-3. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 02: Goaltender Thatcher Demko #35 of the Vancouver Canucks defends the net near Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at the Bell Centre on February 2, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-3. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 08: Tomas Tatar #90 of the Montreal Canadiens is stopped by goalie Thatcher Demko #35 of the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 08: Tomas Tatar #90 of the Montreal Canadiens is stopped by goalie Thatcher Demko #35 of the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

The 25-year-old netminder hasn’t had nearly as much playoff experience has Price, having only played in four postseason contests. Despite the small sample size, however, Demko appears to be on the right track for playoff success. He currently has a ridiculous track record of 0.64 GAA, 0.985 SV% and one shutout over those four games, and only allowed two goals against Vegas in the final three games of the series during the second round of the 2020 playoffs.

Yes, it’ll basically be impossible for Demko to maintain these playoff statistics over his career, especially given the high-scoring nature of hockey these days, but there’s no doubt that this has been a promising start for the former 2014 second-round pick.

It’ll also probably be at least two years before we even see the Canucks in the playoffs again, and it’s very likely that the next squad to actually qualify won’t be of a true contending calibre, putting Demko in an even bigger position to shine under high-pressure circumstances, like he’s done so far during his time in Vancouver.

Unlike Montreal, the Canucks don’t need to worry about the back-up situation as of yet. Current Canuck Braden Holtby, who has served as the 1B for much of this season, only has one-year remaining on his deal, and won’t likely see playoff hockey in Vancouver as a result, especially given the looming Seattle Kraken expansion draft (should they consider him), as well as the growth and development of prospect Michael DiPietro.

Could Holtby be back if the price is right? What if Seattle doesn’t claim him, or if DiPietro doesn’t pan out? Absolutely. Most teams opt for two solid options between the pipes during the playoffs, but some clubs also just rely on one, and Holtby could definitely fit the former. It’s something the franchise will eventually need to consider but, as mentioned, that’s really just a future problem for the Canucks.

Back to Demko.

At the end of the day, there are a plethora of factors that need to be executed to perfection in order to hoist the Stanley Cup, but goaltending will always be one of the more important ones. We’ve seen stellar teams go on magical Cup runs because of who they have between the pipes, and the Canucks are fortunate to have one of the best young netminders in the game on their roster to assist with that journey.

Similar to Price, it also helps that Demko will have Ian Clark by his side for the next five years.

And if Demko is able to perform anywhere close to how he did in the bubble, at any point during his tenure with Vancouver, Canucks fans should expect him to be one of the foundational pieces that will carry this team to postseason consistency and (hopefully) success, much like Price is doing for the Canadiens right now.

Next. Canucks' prospect Lucas Jacek to play in Finland next year. dark

What are your thoughts on the goaltending comparison between Montreal and Vancouver? Let us know in the comments below, and also make sure to check out Part 2 when it drops!