Thatcher Demko’s season may be over, so it’s Spencer Martin time in the Vancouver Canucks’ crease tonight.
With Jaroslav Halak also injured, the Canucks will be dressing two goalies from their AHL squad tonight, with their season on the line. Arturs Silovs will back up Martin against the Seattle Kraken at Rogers Arena tonight.
Demko is hurt, “day-to-day” Bruce Boudreau told reporters this morning, with a mystery injury.
“He’s got a little bit of an ouch, he’s not going to be playing tonight,” said Boudreau.
Outstanding for the Canucks on many nights this season, Demko is in the running to be named team MVP on Thursday. But his play hasn’t been Vezina-level for a few weeks now, which was understandable given his workload this season.
Playing more than 3,700 minutes for the Canucks, only two NHL goalies have played more than Demko this season.
Demko has appeared in 64 games for the Canucks this season, which is the most by a Vancouver goalie since Roberto Luongo played in 68 games in 2009-10. It’s also tied for the ninth-most games played by a Canucks goalie in a since season in franchise history.
Demko has appeared in 64 games this season, which is tied for the 9th-most appearances in a season in #Canucks history.
It's also the most by a Vancouver goalie since Roberto Luongo in 2009-10. pic.twitter.com/s84m2ZxF9w
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) April 26, 2022
The Canucks’ playoff chances are hanging on by a thread — listed at just 0.1% by MoneyPuck.com. Vancouver needs to beat Seattle, and have the Vegas Golden Knights defeat the Dallas Stars in regulation time tonight, just to stay alive in the chase for the playoffs.
If both of those results go the Canucks’ way, they would still need to win their last two games, and hope both Vegas and Dallas lose each of their remaining games in regulation time.
The game will serve as a preview to next season for Martin, as the 26-year-old will be Demko’s regular backup in 2022-23. Martin has been strong for Abbotsford this season, posting a 19-4-2 record and .914 save percentage in 25 AHL games. He also has a sparkling .958 save percentage in the NHL this season, after filling in admirably for Vancouver back in January.
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