Instant Reaction: Canucks lose Thatcher Demko in second period of convincing 5-0 win over Jets

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
4 months ago
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Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below! Wyatt Arndt is on The Stanchies and Mike Liu will have The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report — tomorrow morning.
The last time these two teams faced, the Canucks fell into the trap of trying to show off how tough they were
After a couple of dangerous-looking Winnipeg shots, the Canucks turned on the pressure. They tallied a whopping seven shots, the last of which was this from JT Miller to open the scoring in this one.
Shoutout to Nils Höglander for the between-the-legs pass, which may have even gone in on its own had Miller not touched the puck (but not for sure). Nonetheless, that’s Miller’s 32nd goal of the season.
Höglander nearly made it 2-0 when he made a nifty play to move in on a 2-on-1 with Elias Pettersson. Höglander dished it across to Pettersson, but EP40 didn’t catch all of his shot.
The Canucks continued to suffocate the Jets on the forecheck, with Vasily Podkolzin working extremely hard to manufacture a chance for Quinn Hughes to try to bury. A nifty move from the Canucks captain unfortunately wasn’t enough to beat Connor Hellebuyck.
Höglander didn’t stop there, though, and did put the Canucks up by a pair after some more hard work.
That’s Höglander’s 20th goal of the season, and all 20 of his goals have come at even strength. He’s signed at an extremely team-friendly cap hit of $1.1 million for both this season and next, and that’s the kind of value in your top six that teams kill for. Or try to trade for.
The Canucks pushed their lead to three thanks to Thatcher Demko clearly not wanting to hear about a Vezina Trophy “race” between him and Hellebuyck ever again. Demko was going for the Vezina gold, and Phil Di Giuseppe was going for the Winnipeg goal.
Seriously. This game could have been 2-1 just like that, but instead, the Canucks exited the first period up by three goals.
Tonight’s first period had to be the Canucks’ best period of the season. It was also likely Quinn Hughes’s best period of the season, as the Canucks outshot the Jets 15-0 with Hughes on the ice in the first period.
An underrated part of the first period: Ilya Mikheyev looked fast at times. He almost came close to scoring a goal. These two things are absolutely massive for him, as Canucks fans know.
In the second, the Canucks got the game’s first power play just under five minutes into the frame after Nikolaj Ehlers took a slashing penalty. And just like he did in the first, Quinn Hughes got right back to creating. Elias Pettersson capitalized, tallying his 31st goal of the season:
After this goal, Thatcher Demko left the game as Casey DeSmith entered to defend the Canucks’ goal. Demko stopped all 12 shots he faced. The Canucks headed for the third period up by four, but the most important thing was the status of their starting netminder, as the club announced that Demko would not return.
During the intermission, the Hockey Night in Canada panel — namely former NHL netminder Kelly Hrudey — discussed a video highlight package that showed Demko in discomfort throughout the game.
In the third, the Canucks put this one in park. Pius Suter added a goal in the final five minutes to make it 5-0, as Nils Höglander picked up his third point of the night.
This was one of the Canucks’ most convincing wins of the season, but it almost feels strange to talk about it because none of it really matters if Demko’s injury is serious. The fact he walked off on his own power should bode well, but we’ll see if we get any update post game from Rick Tocchet, and what we see at Canucks practice tomorrow.
What’s your instant reaction to this game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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