Welcome back to What Would You Do Wednesday, the only hockey column on the internet that sometimes has a different name and sometimes comes out on a different day.
Thatcher Demko’s 43-save performance last night was the stuff of backup goaltending legend, but Demko’s teammates didn’t seem all that surprised about it in their postgame interviews. Nonplussed, even.
They didn’t think it was a big deal that Demko had to step up in an elimination playoff game after not having played since March. To a player, they all readily agreed that they believed in Demko, and that they believed they could win with him in the net.
But do you?
More specifically, do you believe that Thatcher Demko can be a better-than-average starting goaltender in the long-term? And if so, do you believe it enough to be comfortable letting Jacob Markstrom go this offseason?
Have the recent events of Markstrom’s injury and Demko’s season-saving postseason debut changed your opinion on the matter at all?
That’s what we’d like you to answer in your comments today, or, more simply:
Do you believe in Thatcher Demko?
Last week, we asked you to put your online reputation where your mouth was:
What are your predictions for the remainder of the Canucks’ series against the Golden Knights? Call it now, who’s winning this series, and how?
Now, on the cusp of Thursday’s Game Six, let’s see how you did.
Nope. I don’t do black and white predictions. Always CYA.
(Following some authorial cajoling)
Lol. OK. Just for fun, I’ll copy 4everfan there and say the Canucks sweep out. They’ve learned their lesson and they won’t drop another game to Vegas.
If this ends up being the opposite, I blame you though.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence and foresight)
I’d love to see the Canucks beat the odds and outplay expectations but I don’t think they will persevere.
The Canucks’ D-zone strategy is too passive. There is an overreliance on the goaltender and they just play too much in their own end. They usually do a good job keeping shots to the outside but it doesn’t take much of a mistake to surrender a goal. Vegas puck movement is very good. Expect them to be more patient with their shots.
I’m concerned about the fatigue level of Markstrom and Edler. If either of those two play poorly, things don’t go well. The Knights have been excellent at containing Hughes. By simply sending a forward up high to take away his ability to walk the blueline, Vegas has made Hughes far less effective.
The Canucks have several players who have demonstrated they will give everything they have to win. They have some elite talent and stellar goaltending. Green has made some effective adjustments. Winning the series is possible just not probable. I felt the same facing the Blues, but goaltending let the Blues down. Vegas is a better team than the Blues.
“We’re asking you to put your money* where your mouth is.
That’s pocket change.
I tentatively suggest that it’s possible that perhaps there’s a chance that maybe it could happen that the odds are that if everything goes right that there is hypothetically some parallel universe where the Canucks win. (Waves white towel)
I think the Knights are the better team, but ‘Nucks have got heart and leadership, and that can upset some apple carts in the playoffs, especially if they get first-rate goaltending.
Beer Can Boyd:
Great goaltending can work to demoralize superior teams. Look no further than the 2011 Cup, where Tim Thomas got in the Canucks’ heads. I think this also happened in the St Louis series, where the Blues looked done by the sixth game. This is where our hope lies.
I’m calling Canucks in 7. This was never going to be an easy out for us, but the guys put together a hell of an effort last night [Game Two] and got the result they wanted. Love the adjustments that were made after Game One. Toffoli (obviously) is a big boost to our top-six and the trickle-down affect helps our bottom-six, but the biggest thing I saw last night was a huge focus on puck support that wasn’t there in Game One. Lots of short passes and available outlets. If we can continue that and Marky can keep being Marky, I like our chances.
If our boys can make it through Vegas, the sky’s the limit!
Why not be a little crazy and dream big? Who would have thought Toffoli would have such an impact or that the Canucks would be able to match the Knights’ play, but they did and then some. More craziness to come including a Marky shutout, a Horvat hat trick, and even a series win for the Canucks in five? Lock me up and throw away the key.
Barring any major injuries on either team, I suspect that the Knights will win in six. Vegas is simply bigger, faster, and better at possession. They are also very strong at clogging up the middle of the neutral zone, which hampers a North-South game. Over the series they will grind down the Canucks – and the back-to-back could be …. well … the back-breaker, as Marky will be playing tired.
(Hope I’m wrong and the team rides the PDO dragon into the next round.)
Seven games. Heart wants Canucks. Head says Knights. Why? A $500M hockey club has no excuse losing to anyone, let alone the Canucks. Counting Zack Mac, Vancouver has 11 players available for this series they either drafted and/or signed and developed as FAs. On the other hand, VGK have 11 players who will be between 30 and 38 years old two seasons from now with Karlsson turning 29, assuming they keep all those guys. It’s because they’re a skilled veteran club they’ll win this series, but barely. Then what? Ten rookie prospects stepping in to replace all those players at once and staying where they are? This contrivance will correct itself sooner than you think.
I’m going to be optimistic and say that the Canucks are winning this series. Yes, the 5-2 score flattered them last night, but I don’t think shots are always the best measure of the flow of play. This team reminds me of the 2011 edition, which like this team was highly skilled and, though, was often outshot had a way of producing high-quality scoring chances and making the most of them. My biggest worry is injuries – that the Knights will end up hurting one or more of the Canucks’ key players with their physical play, or one will get injured blocking a shot, which the Canucks are doing a lot of. You have to admire the Canucks courage and discipline, though in continuing to play their game against their second big, tough opponent in a row. Other versions of the Canucks would have folded by now under the physical onslaught.
(Sure, why not? Winner of the author’s one-time-only award for homerism)
I will never pick the Canucks to lose any series, so I am taking the Canucks to win in 7. (If you have a homer award, I would be happy to receive it)
This one will be a hard-fought battle but the Canucks seem to have the will to win and that will take them to the series win.
Travis Green’s Canucks have never really been hard on pucks in their own zone, and when they are, they are very mediocre at transitioning out. I don’t see that changing any time soon, and Vegas’ disciplined game plan is exploiting it well. We say all the time that great goaltending can win a series. Well, that’s going to have to be the case here for this Canucks team to move past the Vegas Yellow Knights. The good news for Canucks fans is that Markstrom is playing like a great goaltender. The bad news is that it won’t be enough. Vegas in 6.
Canucks in 6 on the back of Marky.
Canucks in seven. Demko will play one of the back-to-back games and pick up the win.
Given that the sports jinx is a scientific fact, I’m going with LV in 7. Jinx!
We’ll only go as far as That 7-40-7 line will take us.
It will unexpectedly end in a tie throwing a monkey wrench into the NHL’s carefully plotted return-to-play scheme…
Canucks in six.
Once they solve the Knights forecheck, which they will, it’s over.
Myers coming back at just the right time will help the team win the series.
Surprise will be a steady Juolevi pressed into service in Game Five.
This series is going six or seven and will be decided by goaltending. I really like our chances, with Markstrom capable of stepping up and dominating this week.
Now that the series contains two back-to-backs, and potentially five games in seven nights, I think Vegas has the edge. Vegas has a strong, fast team that will be hard to beat two nights in a row.
That being said, the boys still have great chance to pull this one out. The new schedule makes Game Three a near must-win for both teams as the losing team is forced to either win three straight or two games on no rest. Particularly for Van…if they can get the win it puts them in position to win Games Three, Five, and Six and not have to win both games in a back-to back. If Van can go into Game Six up 3-2, the series will be ours. I personally don’t want it to go seven as five games in seven days is not a recipe for good hockey…no matter how exciting Game Sevens usually are.
Canucks have to win in six. From what I’ve seen, back-to-back games are not favorable for them. If it goes to Game Seven, it’s going to be a very tough one. While Vegas has a good team on paper, there’s a lot of X-factors that Vancouver has that will tip the series in their favor. #GoCanucksGo!
Nucks in six.
You know Vegas looked great with seven days rest versus the Canucks’ one day of rest after finishing three games in five days. Then Vegas looked a little tired on one days rest. I think the Canucks can hang with Vegas and take this series in six with those young legs. An adjustment to reduce the number of Vegas shots being taken would be helpful, blocking shots is great until – “man down” – it isn’t.
I Am Ted
This Jekyll-and-Hyde Canucks team is so hard to read. One game they look like worldbeaters, the next also-rans. I would say it’s on Markstrom and no further key injuries. If he plays lights out, Canucks in six. If not, I say the Knights in six.
Canucks in seven.
A) they’re young and dumb enough not to know they’re not supposed to, B) really hoping the Allan Walsh fire bomb comes back in a big way, and C) 50 years with no Cup, vs. three years and maybe heading to a second final just isn’t right.
If the Canucks can stay out of the sin bin, they chances are good.
They need to get out early in Game Three like they did in Game Two.
A tell that I saw on MaxPax’s face in the third period was one I saw on Boeser’s face in the first period.
They were both disgusted and didn’t show effort after.
I wonder if Hughes needs a maintenance day on one of the back-to-backs?
I see some good defence where the Canucks allow a lane and shot but I am concerned about the back door.
TG adjusted well in Game Two.
A lot of blither just to make a pick. Canucks in Six.