3 reasons the Canucks will struggle without Thatcher Demko

What could go wrong did go wrong in the Canucks first game without star goaltender Thatcher Demko, and it could foreshadow a massive struggle.

Mar 7, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save
Mar 7, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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There isn’t a single easy game left on the schedule

You may look at the Canucks upcoming schedule and raise your eyebrows since their next four games are against teams who are currently not in a top-three spot in their division, nor are they holding onto a wild card spot. But at this time of the year, teams who aren’t playing meaningful games in March (and April) are every bit as tough as those who are. 

While the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres are within striking distance of a wild card spot, and for that reason, shouldn’t be underestimated, the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens have nothing to lose. So, Vancouver is playing two teams with a heightened sense of urgency, while the other two will play a reckless brand of hockey. We also know the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars are tough enough, but the Anaheim Ducks fit in the same mold as Calgary and Montreal. 

You can turn this argument around and say the same thing is the case for other playoff contenders and division leaders, and you will be right. The difference? They aren’t missing their star goaltender, and this is where the Vancouver Canucks fall short. 

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(Data provided by Hockey-Reference)