Well, that’s one way to stop a goaltending controversy.
Trade Deadline Day 2020 arrived with unexpected and unwelcome news for the Vancouver Canucks, who instead of making a major acquisition found themselves unacquiring Jacob Markstrom for about a month with a torn meniscus.
It’s a devastating development for a player in the midst of a Vezina Trophy-worthy campaign and even more upsetting for the teammates that have come to rely on him a bit too heavily – but there is some silver lining if you’re one of those fans who really wants to see what Thatcher Demko can do.
There are those who contend that Demko is the better bet as the Canucks’ long-term starting goalie, and that notion is about to be put to the test in a big way. The crease is Demko’s for almost the entirety of the stretch run, and if he can deliver the Canucks to the playoffs in Markstrom’s absence it will go a long way toward usurping the role permanently.
Of course, Demko’s still going to have to do a little sharing. In Jim Benning and Co.’s lone Deadline Day transaction, the Canucks dealt Zane McIntyre to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Louis Domingue – who will ostensibly serve as Demko’s backup until Markstrom’s return.
The question remains, however, as to how much ice-time Domingue is actually going to get. There’s a school of thought out there in #Canucks-land that now is the time to ride Demko night-in-and-night-out, both because it gives the team the best chance to win and because it will prove whether or not he can handle a starter’s workload.
But there’s also some value in not rushing things, and in using Domingue where appropriate to avoid throwing Demko entirely to the wolves.
And now we’d like to know where you fall in this debate, because this week we’re asking:
What would you do with Thatcher Demko and Louis Domingue for the rest of the regular season? How would you divvy up their starts?
Last week, we asked:
What would you do with Tyler Toffoli, and where would you put him in the lineup?
Your responses are below!
I’m torn about where to put Toffoli, but I like the top line. I just don’t see Jake being a long term fit beside Miller and EP.
In a perfect world, if Brock returns for playoffs, EP/Miller/Boeser, then Pearson/Bo/Toffoli.
I originally thought he would be a great fit on the Horvat line. That line can be a prototypical high end #2 line that can shut down in a match-up role and also score. That said, I still think they should see what he does with Pettersson and Miller. A natural goal scorer with those two could be dynamite.
I would try to lock up Toffoli for four years in the offseason. That takes him right up until Hoglander and Podkolzin’s ELC contracts are set to expire. I would have preferred the Canucks found a faster and more physical winger that can be effective in the top-six, but those are really hard to find and expensive. Toffoli still looks like a quality top-six winger that plays a solid 200-foot game. IMO, he fits the teams need and a four-year window/contract is perfect.
After seeing this article, I would probably try to get a better photo of him (Toffoli) made available.
The photo in question:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I would play Toffoli alongside Horvat and Pearson, and keep Virtanen on the top line. Toffoli already has chemistry with Pearson, so it should be a fairly good fit; meanwhile, Virtanen has played well alongside Pettersson and Miller. With this line combination, there will be minimal disruption when Brock comes back from injury as he will simply replace Virtanen on the top line, with Virtanen sliding back to the third line where he has played much of the season.
The next six weeks will be a good preview for how well Toffoli fits in the group and the Canucks’ style of play. If he plays well and finds chemistry in the top-six, I’d like to see JB sign him if we can get him for a fair price; at $4-4.5 million over three to four years, I think he would be a great addition to the team given his ability to move up and down the lineup and his experience winning at the highest level.
I was expecting him to play with Horvat and Pearson, I think in the future that’s where he will play. For now, it’s with EP and JT. The Canucks now have a strong right side with more on the way. Toffoli, Boeser, Virtanen, Sutter, Leivo, MacEwen, Podkolzin, Lind.
Stick Toffoli in the top-six. If Virtanen gets outplayed by MacEwen or Toffoli, you trade Virtanen for prospects in the offseason.
Well, I’m commenting on this with the hindsight of his first game out of the way and honestly I like the way Green has the top-six.
TT looked good on the top line. As the game progressed, they got better and better.
And, honestly, LE has looked pretty great with Bo and Pearson. I thought he was hustling like crazy in the Wild game. Won several foot races into the corners for pucks and won quite a few battles to gain possession.
Leave it alone for right now.
The option for putting TT on Horvat’s wing with Pearson will still be there in a couple of weeks.
If I were JB, don’t get sucked into re-signing him in the short-term because you paid a significant amount to get him. There are bigger priorities. Sort out your RD (Tanev and Stecher), sign Markstrom and offload cap space (some of Sutter, Eriksson, and Baertschi). If you’ve done that, he’s performed well, and you have plenty of cap space, sure, take a run at signing him. But that’s a lot of work to sort out before spending a lot on a winger.