The Vancouver Canucks’ goal crease could have a familiar face returning to it soon.
Goaltender Thatcher Demko was on the ice today in full gear for the Canucks’ optional morning skate in Pittsburgh ahead of their Tuesday evening matchup with the Penguins. This, courtesy of Postmedia’s Patrick Johnston:
Thatcher Demko is on the ice and making progress in his recovery, but he’s not going to play on this trip, according to Boudreau pic.twitter.com/SOTDa34ZDH
— Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) January 10, 2023
Demko exited with a lower-body injury late in the first period in the Canucks’ home matchup with the Florida Panthers on December 1st, 2022.
Original indications were that Demko would be out “approximately six weeks”, and that timeline appears to be on pace. Multiple sources have indicated that the Canucks are going to take every precaution possible with Demko, and that “there will be no rushing him back”. This is good news for both Demko’s long-term health, and of course, good news for the fans on team tank.
Speaking of the tank… Thanks to the Philadelphia Flyers’ 4-0 shutout victory over the Sabres last night, the Canucks have now dropped below Philadelphia to 26th in the NHL standings. If the season ended today they’d have a 6.5% chance at winning the rights to select Connor Bedard with the first overall pick of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
One can dream. But let’s get back to Demko.
The on-ice session in full gear today comes after Demko skated alone at Rogers Arena gear-less last week, and took to the ice yesterday in Pittsburgh as well.
“He’s on the ice right now,” said Boudreau, who added that Demko won’t play on this trip. “But anytime he’s on the ice and taking some shots, you know he’s getting closer.”
The Canucks are back at home for a matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, January 18th, so it will be interesting to see how far along Demko has come in his recovery when the club returns from this current road trip.