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Jeff Paterson helps preview the Canucks’ game 2 matchup with Casey DeSmith as the starter: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
1 month ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal were joined by Rinkwide’s Jeff Paterson to preview tonight’s game 2 matchup against the Nashville with Canucks’ starting goaltender Thatcher Demko out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury. Backup Casey DeSmith figures to be the starter with Demko out. DeSmith finished with a 12-9-6 record and a .896 save percentage. 
“The fact Thatcher Demko wasn’t available to media after Game 1 of the series certainly raised some eyebrows,” said JPat after Demko’s continued absence fueled speculation about his status. “On Monday after an optional skate he wasn’t on the ice for, again he was asked for and wasn’t granted media access. When I walked into Rogers Arena this morning and Casey DeSmith and Arturs Silovs were on the ice with Ian Clark, who is religious with his starters’ routine, I thought, ‘something is off here’.”
“A huge blow to the hockey club, but also this marketplace,” JPat said. “Can the Canucks still beat the Predators? Of course, they can. Casey DeSmith can get the job done. While DeSmith recently had a strong stretch as a starter, concerns linger. “We’re ten days removed from a pretty solid performance from the backup as a starter, but rewind two weeks and he lost his net briefly to the third-stringer in this organization. Who knows what to expect from DeSmith, but I think it heightens the awareness of the group in front to continue to tighten the lockdown… The first five minutes are going to be fascinating – if you’re the Preds, you throw everything you’ve got at DeSmith and make him make a bunch of saves. If he does, you know he’s up to the challenge at least in the short term here. If it doesn’t go his way, all the energy we felt from Sunday night is going to turn to angst in a real hurry at Rogers Arena.”
JPat noted what he’ll look for from DeSmith to judge where his head is at: “Rebound control. I’m not a goaltender expert, but we’ve seen both sides of that coin from Casey DeSmith this year.” He excelled in that area against Edmonton, but previous struggles raise questions. “The game in Edmonton there wasn’t a lot of loose change lying around, but I go back to some of those games against Western Conference opponents; there were pucks in the blue paint he would make the initial save but play would continue. It shows when a goaltender is dialed in when he’s making those saves and not leaving second-chance opportunities. I still think the Canucks have plenty to get past the Nashville Predators with Casey DeSmith in goal, but there’s reports out now that it’s not looking great for Demko.”
Demko’s latest injury raises questions about his overall injury history. “If he does get the green light at some point, how much trust do you have that he’s going to stay healthy?” Asked JPat. “This is a guy whose season ended two years ago with an injury, last year he suffered an injury that kept him out three months. Now, after missing six weeks, he gets back for three and is out again. We know how hard he’s worked to get back, but I don’t know about you- if I see him in a Canucks uniform again in these playoffs, in the back of my mind I’m going to be thinking; for how long? This, undeniably, is part of the Thatcher Demko story now. It’s unfortunate for him, when he’s at the height of his game he’s as good as anybody in the NHL, but you hope his body isn’t betraying him.”
You can watch the full segment in the video below:

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