Canucks Recall Thatcher Demko ?!?!?!

Header Week 7 - Demko

Photo credit: Lindsay A. Mogle / Utica Comets

Word slipped out late last night that the Canucks had recalled prized goaltending prospect Thatcher Demko from Utica in advance of their game against the Florida Panthers tonight.

This represents a serious deviation from their plans heading into the season, but even the best laid plans often go awry and circumstances have all but demanded this: those being that goaltenders Ryan Miller and Richard Bachman are injured at the same time, jamming the Canucks in terms of an NHL backup for Jacob Markstrom tonight in Sunrise, Florida.

While word didn’t officially come from the Canucks until the last hour or so, logic dictated that the move needed to happen. Add to that the fact that Thatcher Demko was on the ice with the Canucks in Florida this morning, and I think the jig was up.

When the Canucks last needed a goaltender from the minors, they turned to Michael Garteig, who was simply closer in proximity due to a road trip with the Alaska Aces, and he suited up as a backup. The Canucks had the option of doing the same thing this time, given that Demko and Garteig were in the same place.

However it seems they’ve chosen to reward Demko for his recent stretch of strong play. Up until last night, Demko had gone six straight starts allowing two goals or fewer, dating back to November 23rd. Even including last night, in which he allowed four goals on 28 shots (and two of the goals were awfully fluky), Demko has a .935 save percentage and a 1.87 goals against average in his last seven starts. He’s been seriously hot since taking over for an injured Bachman on November 19th.

Comets Cumulative SavePct (10-Dec-16)

Whether Demko is going to make his NHL debut is anybody’s guess, for now at least, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was just there to take in the scenery while Markstrom starts tonight and tomorrow in Washington.

The Canucks face Roberto Luongo and the Panthers at 4:00pm Pacific tonight.

Meanwhile, the Utica Comets, who are also playing today, have called up JP Anderson on loan from the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers, who will presumably back up Michael Garteig tonight against Syracuse.

To be fair to Garteig, he was only in the ECHL due to circumstance, and without the goaltending logjam in the Canucks organization, he would likely have been in the American League, so lumping him in as an “ECHL goalie” is a little unfair this early in his rookie professional season.

Garteig has made one start for the Comets, in which he allowed four goals on 35 shots. Granted, it was against the Toronto Marlies and the team was playing the second game of a back to back set. Garteig’s numbers in the ECHL have been strong this season (.926 save percentage, 2.39 goals-against average), and after a handful of dominant seasons in the NCAA, I’m confident that he’ll adjust to AHL competition soon enough.

The Comets play the Syracuse Crunch at home tonight at 4:00pm Pacific.

  • Peezy F

    Oh man, wouldn’t it be a story if this kid somehow through divine intervention turns into this year Matt Murray…lol all dreams aside, awesome news for the fan base and congrats are due for his amazing play of late. This is the mantra we should hope to strive for and I believe management strives for…earn your keep.

    I would really hope we see him tomorrow due to it being a back to back but I would doubt they would make his first game against Ovechkin and the boys.

    Hopefully Miller isn’t out for awhile. Marky has been struggling positionally at times this year. I feel as if the constant one on one time he had with Melanson has been missed. Fans have been wanting Marky to get the nod but he really hasn’t earned it yet. The perfect time frame would have been that three game stretch with New York, Arizona and whoever the Saturday game was and he really didn’t earn it. Would love consistency out of him, today and tomorrow would be a good time to start now wouldn’t it.

  • OMAR49

    Seems kind of strange the Canucks would deprive Utica of its #1 goalie simply to reward him for his recent good play. Might be an opportunity for the Canucks to see what they have as far as goal tending goes. If he looks good maybe he will be the back up next year and there would be no need to try and resign Miller.

  • Dan B

    I know I’m dreaming but it would be great to see the Canucks get a big lead, and have Demko come in for the 3rd period to keep Markstrom a little fresher for tomorrow.

  • Bud Poile

    With Markstrom struggling as he has mgmt. have already stated they will re-sign Miller.

    Hopefully,the writers have figured it out before the trade deadline so as not to stir the pot all over again when Miller is not traded.

    “He’s(Miller) not going to be dealt or moved at the trade deadline, even if the team tanks.” Ben Kuzma

    • DJ_44

      I have not heard or read where management said they would resign Miller.

      Linden stated it may be an option…followed quickly by reminding the interviewer Miller is an UFA at the end of the season.

      This kind of statement is akin to people stating that GMJB thinks the rebuild is done. Never said it….mis-representation pure and simple.

      • Bud Poile

        Meanwhile,Marky Mark faces two shots on net and lets one in.

        Not difficult to understand that either Demko steps in ASAP and is the second coming of Matt Murray or they will need to extend Miller.

        Markstrom has been unreliable and Miller would be the better role model for Thatcher.