VANCOUVER – As good as he has been in the National Hockey League, among the 10 best goalies since he became the Vancouver Canucks starter in 2020, Thatcher Demko had three shutouts before this season. Three shutouts in 168 games.

In his 34th game this season, on Monday, Demko made 31 saves to earn his fifth shutout of the campaign as the Canucks fought through an emotional letdown and beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 at Rogers Arena.

And while there is an obvious correlation between the goaltender’s achievements and the team in front of him and its embrace of coach Rick Tocchet’s defensive principles, Demko deserves a lot of credit for his five clean sheets. It’s not a surprise, after all, that he’s going to the All-Star Game next week in Toronto, even if that decision was determined by something as fickle as a fan vote.

Like the Canucks, Demko seems almost impregnable when up a goal in the third period. Vancouver is now an absurd 29-0-1 when leading after 40 minutes.

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-814772” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345385968112&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345385968112&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345385968112&cmsid=384”;
var adServerUrl_result = adServerUrl.includes(“cust_params”);
var queryString=”;
if(adServerUrl_result){
var gettheDUFI = localStorage.getItem(“theRED_loc”)

if(gettheDUFI){
queryString += “dufiid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
queryString += “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
var ppid = “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
}

var DUFI_IP = sessionStorage.getItem(“DUFI_IP”)

if(DUFI_IP){
queryString += “dufiip=” + DUFI_IP + ‘&’;
}

adServerUrl = adServerUrl.replace(/cust_params=/, ppid + ‘cust_params=” + encodeURIComponent(queryString) );
}

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=\”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js\” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( “ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-814772” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “JCdte3tMv”,
//autoplay: true,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6345385968112,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/6345385968112-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/video/canucks-hughes-fires-a-missile-of-a-shot-bar-down-on-blackhawks-mrazek/”
});
});

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-358569” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345385968112&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345385968112&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345385968112&cmsid=384”;
var adServerUrl_result = adServerUrl.includes(“cust_params”);
var queryString=”;
if(adServerUrl_result){
var gettheDUFI = localStorage.getItem(“theRED_loc”)

if(gettheDUFI){
queryString += “dufiid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
queryString += “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
var ppid = “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
}

var DUFI_IP = sessionStorage.getItem(“DUFI_IP”)

if(DUFI_IP){
queryString += “dufiip=” + DUFI_IP + ‘&’;
}

adServerUrl = adServerUrl.replace(/cust_params=/, ppid + ‘cust_params=” + encodeURIComponent(queryString) );
}

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=\”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js\” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( “ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-358569” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “JCdte3tMv”,
//autoplay: false,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6345385968112,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/6345385968112-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/video/canucks-hughes-fires-a-missile-of-a-shot-bar-down-on-blackhawks-mrazek/”
});
});

Demko has said many times the statistic he cares most about are wins, and he now has 25 of those with nearly three months remaining in the regular season. But the shutouts must be at least a little satisfying for the 28-year-old, who must have lost at least a half-dozen of them in the final minutes of games the last three seasons when the Canucks were still trying to figure out how to defend and how to win.

“I’m human, you know,” Demko said late Monday. “As a goalie, you have one job and that’s to stop as many pucks as you can, so it always feels good to get a clean sheet. But, I mean, there’s so much else that happens and goes into it. You have to have good guys in front of you playing hard and making good decisions. And sometimes you need a couple of bounces, too.”

There wasn’t much luck involved in Monday’s shutout. But there were a lot of guys defending hard in front of him and limiting the Blackhawks’ high-quality scoring chances on a night when the game was an emotional slog for the Canucks. 

Their rollicking 6-4 win Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs was probably the game-of-the-season so far at Rogers Arena.

“It wasn’t our highest-emotion game but we held the fort, Demmer played really well and made some big saves to keep it a two-goal lead, especially in the third, and two points is two points,” defenceman Tyler Myers said. “We’re happy with it, but we need to come out harder next game. We know we have more to give.

“It’s great for Demmer. He deserves (the shutout) and is an unbelievable goalie. At the same time, it feels great for the guys in front of him. When we’re not letting a goal in, it’s telling us that we’re doing the right things defensively and we’re protecting the house. He made some big saves tonight. He was on when he needed to be, and he’s been like that since I’ve been here.”

And yet, only the three shutouts before this season, including just one two seasons ago when Demko played 64 games and was one of the best in the world at his position.

“I actually saw before the year that he only had three shutouts,” checking centre Teddy Blueger, new to the Canucks this season, told Sportsnet. “I was very surprised by it. We take pride in playing good defensively. I don’t know if necessarily during the game. . . we’re thinking ‘let’s get the shutout.’ It’s primarily a goalie stat. But it’s great for him and I think all the boys are really happy for him.”

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-413156” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345386071112&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345386071112&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345386071112&cmsid=384”;
var adServerUrl_result = adServerUrl.includes(“cust_params”);
var queryString=”;
if(adServerUrl_result){
var gettheDUFI = localStorage.getItem(“theRED_loc”)

if(gettheDUFI){
queryString += “dufiid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
queryString += “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
var ppid = “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
}

var DUFI_IP = sessionStorage.getItem(“DUFI_IP”)

if(DUFI_IP){
queryString += “dufiip=” + DUFI_IP + ‘&’;
}

adServerUrl = adServerUrl.replace(/cust_params=/, ppid + ‘cust_params=” + encodeURIComponent(queryString) );
}

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=\”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js\” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( “ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-413156” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “JCdte3tMv”,
//autoplay: true,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6345386071112,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/6345386071112-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/video/canucks-kuzmenko-gifts-suter-wide-open-net-with-slick-spin-o-rama-pass/”
});
});

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-294183” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345386071112&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345386071112&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345386071112&cmsid=384”;
var adServerUrl_result = adServerUrl.includes(“cust_params”);
var queryString=”;
if(adServerUrl_result){
var gettheDUFI = localStorage.getItem(“theRED_loc”)

if(gettheDUFI){
queryString += “dufiid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
queryString += “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
var ppid = “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
}

var DUFI_IP = sessionStorage.getItem(“DUFI_IP”)

if(DUFI_IP){
queryString += “dufiip=” + DUFI_IP + ‘&’;
}

adServerUrl = adServerUrl.replace(/cust_params=/, ppid + ‘cust_params=” + encodeURIComponent(queryString) );
}

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=\”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js\” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( “ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-294183” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “JCdte3tMv”,
//autoplay: false,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6345386071112,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/6345386071112-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/video/canucks-kuzmenko-gifts-suter-wide-open-net-with-slick-spin-o-rama-pass/”
});
});

Pius Suter, on a wonderful spin-o-rama pass from Andrei Kuzmenko, and defenceman Quinn Hughes scored for the Canucks in the first seven minutes. The ease with which the Canucks built their lead against one of the worst teams in hockey punctured whatever emotional urgency players were able to manufacture on a dreary Monday after a spectacular Saturday win.

Demko had to be sharp.

He made point-blank saves against Nick Foligno and Philipp Kurashev on a late Chicago power play, and was relieved that Colin Blackwell shot wide on a breakaway after he torched Vancouver defenceman Filip Hronek with about eight minutes remaining.

“There’s a lot of emotion the last couple of weeks, three weeks, (and) the travel,” Tocchet said. “Sometimes you have these games. . . that’s where you rely on your (Nils) Hoglanders, your (Nils) Amans and the younger guys to give you juice, and I thought they did. And then when you have a guy like Demmer, who’s rock solid for us, you take the two points. You take the positives out of it. It’s two points.”

Does Tocchet like shutouts?

“I love shutouts,” he said. “I’d rather win 2-0 than 8-4 any day of the week. It means that you’re. . . doing the right things most times when you get a shutout. I love shutouts, especially for how hard Demmer works.”

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-267962” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345400300112&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345400300112&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345400300112&cmsid=384”;
var adServerUrl_result = adServerUrl.includes(“cust_params”);
var queryString=”;
if(adServerUrl_result){
var gettheDUFI = localStorage.getItem(“theRED_loc”)

if(gettheDUFI){
queryString += “dufiid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
queryString += “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
var ppid = “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
}

var DUFI_IP = sessionStorage.getItem(“DUFI_IP”)

if(DUFI_IP){
queryString += “dufiip=” + DUFI_IP + ‘&’;
}

adServerUrl = adServerUrl.replace(/cust_params=/, ppid + ‘cust_params=” + encodeURIComponent(queryString) );
}

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=\”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js\” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( “ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-267962” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “JCdte3tMv”,
//autoplay: true,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6345400300112,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/6345400300112-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/video/it-means-youre-doing-the-right-things-canucks-tocchet-on-why-he-loves-shutouts/”
});
});

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-918369” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345400300112&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345400300112&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6345400300112&cmsid=384”;
var adServerUrl_result = adServerUrl.includes(“cust_params”);
var queryString=”;
if(adServerUrl_result){
var gettheDUFI = localStorage.getItem(“theRED_loc”)

if(gettheDUFI){
queryString += “dufiid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
queryString += “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
var ppid = “ppid=” + gettheDUFI + ‘&’;
}

var DUFI_IP = sessionStorage.getItem(“DUFI_IP”)

if(DUFI_IP){
queryString += “dufiip=” + DUFI_IP + ‘&’;
}

adServerUrl = adServerUrl.replace(/cust_params=/, ppid + ‘cust_params=” + encodeURIComponent(queryString) );
}

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=\”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js\” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( “ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-918369” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “JCdte3tMv”,
//autoplay: false,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6345400300112,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/6345400300112-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/video/it-means-youre-doing-the-right-things-canucks-tocchet-on-why-he-loves-shutouts/”
});
});

Demko said shutouts are a team accomplishment.

“One hundred per cent. There’s no denying that,” he said.

There also no denying the Canucks have something special going – even on nights when they don’t look special except for their resilience and resourcefulness.

In this NHL age of multi-goal collapses, lethal power plays, and speed and skill in greater abundance than at any other point in league history, how does any team bank 59 out of 60 points when leading after two periods?

“Somebody threw that stat out to me a couple of weeks ago and I had no idea,” Myers said. “I didn’t know what to think. It just goes to show that we’re playing hard within a good system. When we’re protecting a lead as much as we are going into last 20 minutes, it shows that we have a system that works for us and that we’re playing it hard. It’s a good feeling. We just have to keep making sure that we don’t get satisfied and keep trying to get better coming to the rink every day.”

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Blueger said of the Canucks’ 29-0-1 record as third-period front-runners. “I don’t know how much the other guys are aware of that. I think it’s just something that if you want to be a good team going down the stretch, it’s kind of a little bit of a skill that I think we’re going to need: shutting it down in the third, protecting the lead and defending well. That’s how I look at it.”

ICE CHIPS – Tocchet announced after the morning skate that Carson Soucy will miss the next five or six weeks after blocking a shot Saturday with his hand. It is the defenceman’s second bone fracture this season. He was replaced Monday by Noah Juulsen. . . The St. Louis Blues visit the Canucks on Wednesday.

End

To Get The Latest News Update

Sign up to Our Subscription.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

To Get The Latest News Update

Sign up to Our Subscription.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.