Canucks’ Thatcher Demko Out for Game 2, Potentially Until May

Thatcher Demko of the Vancouver Canucks will miss Game 2 and potential the full first-round series

Getty Thatcher Demko of the Vancouver Canucks

After spending a month on the shelves and returning just before the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko has suffered another injury.

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet announced on Tuesday, April 23, that Demko will not play Game 2 against the Nashville Predators, considering his goalie “day-to-day” with an undisclosed injury unrelated to a knee injury that left Demko out from March 13 through April 13.

“We’re going to evaluate him today on something,” Tocchet said, via Kevin Woodley of “It wasn’t the old injury and that’s all I really got for you guys.

“It’s a day-to-day thing.”

With Demko out for Game 2, scheduled for Tuesday night, the Canucks will have to rely on Casey DeSmith (Demko’s main backup and the starter tonight) and Arturs Silovs on net.

The Canucks got their postseason going on Sunday with a 4-2 win over the Predators in which Demko was named the starter for Vancouver.

NHL Insiders Add Further Details About Demko’s Status & Outlook

Before the announcement was published on the NHL’s website, insiders Frank Seravalli and Elliott Friedman added more information with the two of them reporting the same intel about Demko’s status for Game 2 and going forward.

“Sources [say] Canucks Thatcher Demko is out for Game 2,” Seravalli wrote on X on April 23. “His status for the series is questionable.”

A few seconds after Seravalli’s post was published on X, Friedman wrote a similar message. “Hearing Thatcher Demko (is) injured and questionable for (the) rest of (the) series.”

Right after publishing that first message, Friedman added another one, reporting “Timelines are unclear at this point, as is specific information about the injury.”

Coach Tocchet didn’t provide any information about Demko’s availability other than for Game 2, ruling him out for that game in particular but not any of the upcoming ones to be played during the next few days.

Demko Is A Key Piece for Vancouver’s Postseason Puzzle

When Demko missed time from mid-March through mid-April, the Canucks posted a mediocre 7-5-2 record splitting their wins and losses right in equal halves.

The team limited opposing teams to 2.86 goals-against on average while the goalies used by Vancouver averaged a subpar .884 save percentage.

For context, Demko went 35-14-2 this season while on goal stopping .918 percent of the shots he saw while allowing opponents to score only 2.45 GAA.

Even though he missed a full month of play and could only appear in 51 matchups, Demko posted the second-highest Goals Saved Above Expected figure with 22.0, according to MoneyPuck.

Looking at Sunday’s first-round opener against the Predators, Demko started on goal for the Canucks and stopped 20 of the 22 shots he saw while playing the full game and helping Vancouver win that contest 4-2 to take a 1-0 series lead.

DeSmith will make his second career start in the playoffs and the first one since he took to the Pittsburgh Penguins net back in 2022, two seasons ago.

This season, DeSmith boasts a 2.89 GAA to go with a .896 SV%. He has amassed a 12-9-6 record in the 29 games he’s played for the Canucks, 27 of them as the starter.

Before Demko’s injury (let alone his potential extended absence) was announced, MoneyPuck had Vancouver as the second most likely team to win the Stanley Cup with a 12% chance of doing so only behind the New York Rangers (15%).

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