The Vancouver Canucks are aiming for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2023-24. Vancouver found themselves in playoff contention last season. But in the end, they missed out by a comfortable 12 points. This year, the team not only hopes they can turn the tide, they believe they have the group to do so.
Goaltender Thatcher Demko expressed as much ahead of training camp on Wednesday. In fact, the veteran Canucks goaltender is not leaving room for excuses this upcoming season.
“I think this year is do or die (for this group), to be honest,” Demko said, via Sportsnet. “We love this group of guys that we have here, this core. But we can't really say that we're a young group. We have plenty of experience.”
Demko went on to talk about how the players on the team have matured over the last few seasons. One example he pointed to was Quinn Hughes. Hughes recently became captain of the Canucks, which was a development Demko would not have seen coming in previous years.
“If you told me two years ago that Quinn was going to be the captain, I'd have had a little chuckle. But he's grown into that role and he's grown into the person that can handle that,” Demko explained.
This example shows the growth the team has experienced over the last few years in Demko's eyes. And that's why the team needs to kick into gear this upcoming season. “I think this year is full steam ahead. We don't have anything to lean on as an excuse,” the Canucks goalie said, via Sportsnet.
Demko and the Canucks begin their 2023-24 season at home against the Edmonton Oilers on October 11. Vancouver then travels to Edmonton for a rematch with the Oilers on October 14.