3 playoff contenders that will lament standing idle at the NHL trade deadline

It’s been almost a full week after the NHL trade deadline, and a few playoff contenders are already lamenting about doing nothing on March 8th.

Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights
Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages
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Vancouver Canucks

Even before Thatcher Demko went down with an injury, goaltender insurance was one area Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin should have considered more before the deadline passed. Behind Demko is a goaltender named Casey DeSmith, who is best suited for a backup or, at most, a part-time starting role. 

Through 19 games and 17 starts this season, DeSmith has a meager 0.898 save percentage, a 2.85 GAA, one shutout, and five ‘really bad starts,’ which averages to 29.4 percent, or nearly one in three. For a prime playoff contender with 91 points this season that is coming off of a bad month despite their latest winning streak, DeSmith is not the player you want in the net during a playoff race. 

Yes, Vancouver is a solid 10 points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers and 14 points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights as of Wednesday. But when you’re down your star goaltender, a lot can change in the next month. 

The Canucks must make life easy for DeSmith in the crease since he won’t put up Vezina-like performances the way Demko has. Luckily for Vancouver, they are one of the top-scoring teams in the league, but they may need to score four or more goals per game just to keep pressure off of DeSmith.