Canucks coach Rick Tocchet rules out Thatcher Demko for Game 1 against the Oilers

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
1 month ago
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Rick Tocchet hasn’t named a starting goalie for Game One of the team’s second round series with Edmonton, but the Canucks head coach has ruled one out. On Sunday morning, Tocchet made it abundantly clear that Thatcher Demko will not be ready for the start of the series with the Oilers.
“Demmer is out of the equation for Game One, obviously, so that’s easy you don’t even discuss that,” Tocchet explained when asked what will go into his decision on a starting netminder. “Clarkie (goalie coach Ian Clark) and I we go through the same thing – you’re playing this team, the play of the goalie, how many practices he’s had, the health. It’s the same thing (as it was in Round One against Nashville).
It’s hard to imagine Tocchet won’t turn to Arturs Silovs who posted a 26-save shutout in Friday’s elimination game against the Predators and who won two of his three starts after entering that series as a surprise for Game 4.
Not only did Tocchet say on Sunday morning that he really hasn’t had time to talk to Casey DeSmith about the goaltending situation, Silovs was one of three Canucks players made available to the media and certainly sounded like a player ready to continue his unlikely journey between the pipes.
Silovs says he’s aware he’s becoming a fan favourite and that his pink shirt has gained almost as much attention as his stellar play. But he’s not letting any of that impact his ability to stop pucks and keep his focus squarely on the task at hand.
“For me, I just have to keep on my game, it’s outside noise,” he said of his growing cult-like status in the market. “It’s nice to have it, but I just have to be so focussed on doing my job.”
And from what he’s seen so far, the coach has been impressed with the 23-year-old Latvian’s ability to handle the pressure and the workload. 
“Just his demeanour,” Tocchet explained of what has stood out about Silovs. “He was the same way when we named him to play as when he was backing up. I didn’t see much of a difference. Sometimes when you tell a guy he’s playing, he gets a little bit more intense. He’s the same guy. Whether he’s the back-up or the starter. I like guys that don’t change because they’re playing or not.”
And based on what he saw late in the Nashville series, Tocchet has to be hoping that very little changes with the way Arturs Silovs has performed. He’s been up to the challenge so far and seems ready for what lies ahead in Round Two.
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