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Tocchet: Thatcher Demko will not start for Canucks in Game 7 against Oilers

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
28 days ago
The Vancouver Canucks will remain without star goaltender Thatcher Demko for Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers, head coach Rick Tocchet said Saturday.
Demko, 28, has been out since suffering an injury late in Game 1 of the Canucks’ Round 1 series against the Nashville Predators back in April. He was initially replaced by Casey DeSmith before Arturs Silovs took the reins midway through the Nashville series.
Silovs has performed admirably in a high-pressure environment with the Canucks in these playoffs but struggled in their Game 6 loss to the Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday night, allowing five goals on 27 shots. That said, the team in front of him offered very little support, managing just 15 shots on goal over 60 minutes of play.
With the series now tied at three games apiece, it appears Silovs will remain between the pipes heading into the first Canucks Game 7 at Rogers Arena since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins. Despite hinting that Demko was getting closer to game action, Tocchet confirmed on Saturday that his workhorse netminder will not play in Game 7.
In 51 games with the Canucks during the 2023-24 regular season, Demko posted a 35-14-2 record, five shutouts, and a .918 save percentage. He stopped 22 of 24 shots in Vancouver’s Game 1 win over the Predators.
The Canucks originally selected Demko in the second round (No. 36 overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, making him the second goaltender taken that year after the Calgary Flames picked Mason McDonald two spots earlier. The San Diego, California product debuted with the Canucks in the 2017-18 season.
Demko supplanted Jacob Markstrom as the Canucks’ starting goalie during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and, save for injury absences, has remained in that position ever since. The 6’4″ goaltender is under contract through 2026 at a $5 million annual cap hit.
Silovs, 23, had skated in just nine NHL games before being thrust into the starter’s role during the Nashville series. The Latvian goaltender and 2023 IIHF World Championship MVP has a 5-4 record and an .898 save percentage in nine appearances with the Canucks during these playoffs.
The Canucks have led this series three times, with the Oilers battling back to tie it at each opportunity. The two teams will duke it out in a winner-take-all Game 7 in Vancouver on Monday evening.

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