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Canucks Thatcher Demko Steals One from the Golden Knights

The Vancouver Canucks warded off elimination by the Vegas Golden Knights when Thatcher Demko stood on his head. What happened?

There was a rumor that the Vancouver Canucks starting goalie Jacob Markstrom was injured, and when back-up goalie Thatcher Demko was the first to emerge from the Canucks dressing room that rumor was confirmed. As always, he had gone to bed early last night and he was ready. The top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights threw shot after shot at Demko – 43 of them in fact – but he stopped them all except one.

And, just like that, the Canucks’ back-up goalie stole one from the Golden Knights. And now, because Demko was the most dominant player on the ice, there’s going to be a Game 6 on Thursday night. The Canucks are still in the bubble.

Related: Can the Canucks Elias Pettersson’s Iron Will Dominate These Playoffs?

The only goal Demko allowed was a highlight-reel goal by a wonderfully-gifted stick handler in defenseman Shea Theodore, who danced around almost everyone to sneak a seeing-eye shot over Demko’s left shoulder. Fortunately, Brock Boeser – who was one of the Canucks best skaters on the ice – scored less than 30 seconds later. And, during the third period – which was by far the Canucks best period of the evening – Elias Pettersson tipped a Boeser shot past Robin Lehner for the winner.

Demko Seemed Cool as a Cucumber All Night

Call it what you will, cool under pressure, dialed in, collected, or just being a bit of an odd duck, but Demko seemed on top of his game all evening. However, because it was Demko’s first start since early March or because it was an elimination game, there had to be enormous pressure on the Boston College alumni. He didn’t show it.

In the end, the headline read “Demko stops 43 of 44 shots to lead his Canucks to a 2-1 Game 5 win over Vegas.” The young Canucks goalie only got the start because Markstrom was deemed “unfit to play.”

Right now, it’s time the Canucks to savor the win; however, in the next day or two, it will be interesting to see if Demko will be back in net on Thursday night for Game 6. The Canucks still face elimination and are down 3-2 in this best-of-seven series. 

Related: Golden Knights Make Right Choice With Lehner, But Who Starts Sunday?

Will the Win Give the Young Canucks Confidence?

Perhaps this victory, although they were outplayed by the Golden Knights for most of the game, could give the team some needed confidence and jump. They won the game, but too often from my perspective they were too tentative and reactive instead of proactive and pushy.

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