Thatcher Demko’s injury shouldn’t give the Canucks a license to panic

The Vancouver Canucks and their fans received devastating news regarding goaltender Thatcher Demko, who could miss some time with another injury.
Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game One
Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game One / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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The Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Buffalo Sabres, just to name a few, have something in common: They are among the unluckiest franchises in the NHL. While luck shouldn’t play a role, sometimes you need to think long and hard about whether that’s exactly what’s going on for Vancouver, a franchise that just enjoyed its best season in years. 

Goaltender Thatcher Demko, who suffered an injury earlier this season, once again looks as though he will miss time thanks to another ailment, this one coming at the worst possible moment. Demko was on form in Game 1’s win over the Nashville Predators, saving 20 of 22 shots on goal for a solid 0.909 save percentage, but his injury will force the pedestrian Casey DeSmith into action. 

DeSmith’s overall performance didn’t impress many when he filled in for Demko toward the end of the season, and the Canucks scorers must step it up tonight if they plan on winning. Over the last month, Vancouver’s scoring has not been so good, putting up just 34 goals and allowing 36 in their previous 12 games (Game 1 of the postseason included). But it also doesn’t mean this team needs to panic. 

Canucks should not panic despite Thatcher Demko’s latest injury

No, the Canucks haven’t been as consistent as fans would otherwise want to see, but it also doesn’t mean the team needs to push the panic button when they skate onto the ice tonight, even if Demko misses the entire series. Nobody in that locker room will admit there will be concern, but it’s always a different story on the ice, which is why I’m bringing this up. 

But, if the teams’s skaters or DeSmith enter panic mode, it should be short-lived. This group should instead see this unfortunate event as an opportunity to get back on track from a scoring standpoint, something we saw in the last two periods of Game 1

The likes of J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and company are too good of scorers to give a team like the Predators much room, especially with goaltender Juuse Saros playing anything but elite hockey throughout much of the 2023-24 season. If they pressure Saros early and often in Game 2 and beyond in this series, Casey DeSmith and the Canucks will be just fine. 

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference and ESPN.com)

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