Thatcher Demko injury update
(Photo by Ethan Cairns/Icon Sportswire)

In a devastating blow to the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff hopes, star goaltender Thatcher Demko will miss Game 2 against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night due to a knee injury.

Even more concerning, his status for the remainder of the first-round series is questionable, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.

This injury setback comes on the heels of Demko missing 14 games late in the regular season with a previous knee issue. According to TSN’s Farhan Lalji, this injury is to the same knee. However, it may be a separate issue.

“Demmer” had just returned for the final two contests of the campaign, splitting the results with a win over the Calgary Flames and a loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

The 28-year-old Vezina Trophy candidate has been the backbone of the Canucks’ success this season, posting a stellar .918 save percentage and 35-14-2 record in 51 games.

Demko’s absence was felt in the locker room, as he was unavailable to reporters following the team’s Game 1 victory on Sunday because he was receiving treatment.

Backup netminders Casey DeSmith and Arturs Silovs will need to step up in Demko’s absence.

DeSmith, who took over as the starter during Demko’s earlier injury, went 12-9-6 with a .896 save percentage in 29 appearances this season. He started one playoff game with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2022.

Silovs, a 23-year-old rookie, has limited NHL experience with just nine games played over the past two seasons.

The Canucks now face an uphill battle without their elite goaltender. Head coach Rick Tocchet had previously expressed confidence that Demko would be ready for the playoffs, but the severity of this latest setback remains unclear.

The team had been cautious with his recovery, opting not to rush him back from the earlier knee injury.

As the series shifts to Nashville for Games 3 and 4, the Canucks will need to rely heavily on their defensive structure and offensive firepower to compensate for Demko’s absence.

The Pacific Division champions had hoped to ride their star goalie’s hot hand deep into the postseason, but those aspirations now hang in the balance.

For now, the Canucks must rally around DeSmith and Silovs as they attempt to maintain their series lead against a resilient Predators squad.

Stay tuned for more information on Thatcher Demko’s injury status and its impact on the Vancouver Canucks’ Cup hopes.