Instant Reaction: Thatcher Demko plays like Roberto Luongo in 4-0 Canucks win over Florida

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
5 months ago
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 writing The Stanchies later this evening, and Mike Liu is writing The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report, available for your reading pleasure tomorrow morning. 
Prior to puck drop, the Canucks unveiled Roberto Luongo’s addition to the Ring of Honour, with Cory Schneider joining Henrik and Daniel Sedin Cory Schneider (who introduced Luongo’s family and Luongo himself.)
It was a great ceremony that ended with Roberto Luongo calling for the Canucks to free the skate jerseys.
Let’s get to the game.
Andrei Kuzmenko opened the scoring tonight after two strong shifts to start the game. His goal was the result of the kind of hard work away from the puck that Rick Tocchet so badly wants to see from the sophomore Russian. The Canucks continued their strong play after that, limiting the Panthers’ chances to mostly the outside.
Dakota Joshua scored later in the period to put the Canucks up 2-0, and determined effort at even strength kept it that way. Despite giving up some quality chances in the dying minutes of the period, it was a great first period for the Canucks, who entered the second with a 2-0 lead despite getting outshot 15-9 in the first period.
The Panthers came out much harder to open the second period, but some strong play from Thatcher Demko kept the Canucks ahead in this one all throughout.
Sergei Bobrovsky, on the other hand, did the opposite of that.
Now, this one is listed on the box score as an unassisted goal, but I’d beg to differ.
3-0 Canucks.
Roughly five minutes later, Brock Boeser scored his 22nd goal of the year on the power play — another reminder that I predicted he’d score 30 back in August.
The Canucks’ power play has been a heavy topic of conversation recently, with JT Miller being especially critical of their movement with the man advantage as of late. Full marks on this one. The Canucks snapped the puck with poise and set up a prime tap in that just refused to go in. Instead of giving up, the power play drew up basically the exact same play, with Boeser burying a second chance opportunity after hitting the post on the first one right in front of the net.
4-0 Canucks to end the second period, despite getting outshot 8-6 in that period.
In the third period, the Canucks made like Matthew Tkachuk and Nick Cousins, turtling away from danger. Did that metaphor work? Maybe not, but the point is — the Canucks were completely fine with letting their goalie make saves while they worked to keep the nature of those saves easy. It didn’t work every time, but they didn’t need to be perfect tonight, because Thatcher Demko was, turning aside all 14 Florida shots he faced in the third period — his team got just one themselves in the final frame — and stopped all 36 shots he faced.
4-0 Canucks final, with Thatcher Demko picking up the shutout on Roberto Luongo’s Ring of Honour night. That’s Demko’s third shutout of the season, for those keeping tracking at home.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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