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Canucks Weekender: The Game is Called Goalie, Two for the Price

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Vancouver Canucks, Thatcher Demko
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko works at practice with goalie coach Ian Clark.

As Vancouver Canucks fans can attest from watching Thatcher Demko during this past regular season, the name of the game is ‘goalie’.

Igor Shesterkin has been the man for the New York Rangers this postseason with a goals against average of 2.60 and a save percentage at .929. Andrei Vasilevskiy of the opposing Tampa Bay Lightning isn’t far behind those numbers, but he’s played three less games and faced 151 less shots than Shesterkin.

Chip in three assists in these playoffs for Igor and a 10-and-5 record as the Rangers went up 2-0 on the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final with two wins at Madison Square Garden. New York held on to win Game-2 on Friday, 3-2.

Tampa Bay hadn’t lost back-to-back playoff games since the opening round against the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019.

By the way, during the regular season Shesterkin started 52 games for the Rangers while Demko started 61 for the Vancouver Canucks, part of that a function of the team desperately over-using its number-one goalie while trying to sneak into the playoffs. The club fell short and Demko got tired and dinged up.

Speaking of Goalies

Two for the Price of one as it relates to news stories out of Montreal.

Carey Price says he plans to return and play next season for the Canadiens, just as he was announced the winner of the Bill Masterton Trophy for 2021-’22. The award goes to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

He beat out the other finalists Zdeno Chara of the New York Islanders and Kevin Hayes of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Price played just five games this past season in April after coming off knee surgery the previous summer and then spending time with the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for substance use.

“I’m getting prepared to start my ramp-up and preparing for next season,” Price said. “I’m going to start preparing like I’m playing. I don’t think I will actually have an idea of how that is going to look until later in the summer when I have taken all the necessary steps to get on the ice again.”

Next …

JT Miller on our Vancouver Canucks roll call today.

Colorado Avalanche at Edmonton Oilers in Game-3 of the Western Conference Final at 5 pm-ish pacific.

Enjoy the Hockey Action !!

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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