3 reasons the Canucks will make quick work of the Predators in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs

The Canucks play the Nashville Predators in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs, and it looks like a favorable one for Vancouver.
Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks
Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
3 of 3

Thatcher Demko’s return to the crease will make a huge difference

Thatcher Demko completed this team, and when he went down with an injury, you couldn’t help but think about what it would have done to the Canucks overall. I didn’t see Vancouver being well off with Casey DeSmith in the net, and he went just 3-3-1 in his first seven starts following Demko’s injury. 

DeSmith also lost his first two starts in April, and you can argue Arturs Silovs looked like the better goaltender at times. But overall, the Canucks were never in great hands with DeSmith in the net, as he finished with an 0.895 save percentage and a 2.89 GAA across 29 appearances and 27 starts. 

He allowed a couple more goals than expected at even strength, which isn’t terrible, but he also faced just 26.17 shots on net per contest, and that’s where the red flag comes up. Meanwhile, Demko’s five shutouts, 10.7 saves better than expected in the same situation, and career-best 0.918 save percentage and 2.45 GAA haven’t just made him the Canucks most consistent goaltender but one of the most consistent in the league. 

While the Predators finished 10th in the league with 269 goals, the overall number isn’t as impressive as it may look - their shooting percentage at 5-on-5 was 7.6 percent and nearly a half-percent below the league average. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)