Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko out through at least Game 4 of series against Oilers

Vancouver Canucks Thatcher Demko
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks will be without goaltender Thatcher Demko for at least the first four games of the team’s first-round series with the Edmonton Oilers.
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported on Tuesday morning that Demko won’t be an option for the Canucks through Games 1 and 4 and that Game 5 is “probably pushing it” but Games 6-7 “get interesting, if necessary.”
Demko was putting together a Vezina Trophy-calibre season for the Canucks but was derailed in March when he suffered a knee injury in a win over the Winnipeg Jets. He spent a month on the Long-Term Injured Reserve and made two appearances in April before the end of the regular season. The 28-year-old wound up finishing the season with a .918 save percentage in 51 appearances and was named a finalist for the Trophy.
The Canucks started Demko in Game 1 of their first-round series with the Nashville Predators and he stopped 22 of 24 shots in a 4-2 victory. That was Demko’s only appearance of the series, as he wound up right back on the shelf because of that same knee injury.
Backup goaltender Casey DeSmith started Games 2 and 3 in relief of Demko. He struggled in a 4-1 loss in Game 2 but bounced back and stopped 29 of 30 shots in a 2-1 win in Game 3. DeSmith suffered a groin injury during that win and Vancouver used third-string goaltender Arturs Silovs for the rest of the series.
Selected in the fifth round of the 2019 draft, Silovs made his NHL debut with the Canucks during the 2022-23 season. He posted a .907 save percentage in 34 games with the AHL Abbotsford Canucks this year and owns a .898 save percentage over nine career regular season starts in the NHL.
In what was the story of the series, Silovs stopped 75 of 80 shots across Games 4 and 6 for the Canucks, highlighted by a series-clinching, 28-save shutout at home in Game 6.
The Canucks will surely start Silovs in Game 1 against the Oilers, though it’s difficult to say how long they’ll stick with him if he struggles. DeSmith is “close to 100 percent” again following the groin injury that he suffered during the series against Nashville. He has a .909 save percentage in 163 regular-season NHL starts and a .927 save percentage across three NHL playoff appearances.

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