Thatcher Demko can become the undisputed Vezina candidate
Thatcher Demko was near the top of the list of Vezina Trophy candidates through the All-Star Break, but it’s a job half-finished if he doesn’t keep up his career season. When you look at Demko’s numbers from the past, they were solid, but not the most spectacular. But in 2023-24, he’s one of the primary reasons Vancouver has been an elite team.
Currently, Demko’s five shutouts are the best in the league. He’s almost doubled his number of career shutouts in one season alone, having picked up three between 2017-18 and 2022-23. Demko’s 26 wins are also closing in on a career-high, second only to the 33 he accumulated in 2021-22.
While it’s also true Demko has experienced some rough moments this season, such as in Vancouver’s overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 27th, don’t mistake it for inconsistency. So far, he either does just enough to ensure the Canucks win in most of his starts, or he’s putting up legendary outings so his skaters don’t need to score four or more goals to win.
That’s been Demko’s style all season, and if he keeps up this steady play, he will continue to be either a clear-cut favorite or a strong contender to win the Vezina.