VANCOUVER – Vancouver Canucks should try to get into Thatcher Demko's head. Not really. Hockey is much easier there.
The prospect of the franchisee of the future from the day it was released in 2014 should finally have a chance this weekend, probably Friday night against the Buffalo Sabers, to start a game like a National Hockey League instead of being a Minor tourist on a day trip.
As the seminal moment of his life approaches, the 22-year-old in San Diego and Boston College feel good, calm.
Demko enters a diploma in applied psychology (with a minor in philosophy) and now we know what this psychology is applying.
"I think the pressure is a thing," he said Thursday after going through his Canucks practice when Anders Nilsson traded Ottawa on January 2 and promoted Demko to Utica Comets. "Everybody likes to talk about it, but you can not put your finger on what it is, it's really up to the subject to determine if they feel pressure or not, do not feel pressure, I'm really excited to start this new chapter for me. "
We could all use Demon's Zen, especially the Canucks.
However, without a brilliant debut, Elias Pettersson, who has spent two weeks with a twisted knee, Vancouver also prepared on Thursday for the possibility of playing without another needle center, Bo Horvat. Canucks' leader suffered a shaky thigh when he was hit by late Kathleen Kassian in the 3-2 Wednesday loss at Wednesday's Edmonton Oilers.
The team was concerned enough to turn to the Tanner Kero center at the US Hockey League, although Canucks coach Travis Green told reporters he expects Horvat to play on Friday.
Pettersson, however, will not. He returned to the ice for a week but has not yet gone through contact with Canucks. The sensational Swede could play against Detroit Red Wings on Sunday or could wait until the last match in Vancouver on Wednesday before Carolina.
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Demko is likely to make his debut season this weekend, despite the best career of starter Jacob Markstrom, who has stopped 28 of 30 Oilers photos on Wednesday and is 10-3-2 in November.
Canucks has a brief comeback at the Rogers Arena between the Friday night match and the Sunday mistress and the coaching staff wants to find a start for Demko before a nine-day break from Vancouver at the end of the month. No one thinks it's a good idea to make Demko wait until February to play.
His only NHL game took place on March 31, when he stopped 25 of the first 26 hits he had encountered before leaving three cards late in the third stage in what turned out to be a 5th victory -4 extra hours against Columbus.
The game demanded by Demko through his agent for wanting to know before this season, as the NHL showed, was awarded as a reward for the remarkable fresh AHL campaign (.922 save the percentage and record of 25-13-4). It was also a reflection of its importance for the future of Canucks.
"Circumstances have been little different from last year, they just came and were thrown into the fire, so to speak," Demko said. "This year, I feel a lot more out of the team. Obviously, I was standing in the NHL for a little while now, instead of getting to Utica at 2:30 in the morning, shaking hands and then getting hot. comfortable in the room, even comfortable around the city. She does not feel any more abstract. "
No, it will appear very soon for Demko.
"He always seems calm and controlled," Green said. "You also like this. (But) I also think it has a very competitive margin to him, much like Marky. Maybe not as if it were, but there is a fire that burns quite hot in it and I think she has a mental makeup to be a NHL goalkeeper. "
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Green has the advantage of trained both Markstrom and Demko in AHL before the boss was promoted by Canucks before last season.
"I liked it from Day 1," Green said about Demko. "I like her accent, his commitment, wanting to improve, but I'm not gonna stand here and say this guy is a bonafide starter, I would not say about a player, you have to go out and do it, and not it makes sense to put those words on a player.
"I think he has the ability to be a very good goalkeeper in the NHL. I thought it from the first day I saw him." If I did not feel it was time to be in the NHL then he would not be here.
Green said he no longer has to put pressure on Demko except what the second selection puts on himself. But the goalkeeper, of course, does not believe in pressure.
"I had to be sure to learn this" (mentality), "he said." I have certainly felt a great deal of pressure during the adolescence. You are just a mature person and when you can take a step back and look at it, it is much easier to put things in perspective. Maybe it's a good reason to play 2½ years in the American League – to learn for the moment, so do not give me psychiatric.