For the second straight day, one practice and one morning skate, the Vancouver Canucks conducted business on-ice without number-one netminder Thatcher Demko.
Goalies Spencer Martin and Arturs Silovs worked either end of the ice Tuesday morning as the Canucks prepped for their game against the visiting Seattle Kraken, and Martin gets the start.
Demko has had a rocky couple of weeks; including being visibly ill during a game against the Ottawa Senators last Tuesday while backing up and having to come in for injured game started Jaroslav Halak. Demko appears to have tired as Vancouver’s ‘must-win’ grind has continued, playing in a career high 64 games, with 61 starts, twenty-six more than his previous max.
“He has a bit of an ouch, he’s day-to-day,” said Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau after morning skate.
Halak has not been available since suffering his upper-body injury in the first period against the Senators.
Martin performed admirably for the Vancouver Canucks in three appearances in January during the team’s ongoing Covid outbreak. He picked up a victory in his start on January 27th against the Winnipeg Jets on the road. He gave up just one goal in that game and a grand total of five in this season’s NHL appearances.
Martin has since led the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks to a Calder Cup playoff bid. Demko’s absence coupled with Silovs and Martin’s call-ups throws the organization’s goaltending situation into a bit of turmoil as the two top teams wrap up their regular seasons. The Abby Canucks are still fighting for home ice in their play-in playoff round while the big club clings to very faint playoff hopes.
Demko has clearly been one of the Vancouver Canucks two MVP’s this season, likely the favourite to win the team award over leading scorer JT Miller, just based on the masked man’s efforts throughout the entire season. He won a number of games the team had no right winning earlier in the campaign.
Martin has a 2.43 goals against average and a .913 save percentage at the AHL level.