Injured Thatcher Demko, Elias Lindholm nearing returns to Vancouver Canucks

Calista Alma
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April 10, 2024

Both players were spotted on the ice during Tuesday’s practice session, signaling positive progress. Although Demko departed before the session concluded, head coach Rick Tocchet revealed that the team has devised a plan to reintegrate the 28-year-old American goalie into game action, starting with a cautious approach during practice on Tuesday.

“We’re taking it day by day,” Tocchet stated. “We had a productive day today, and we’ll assess his status for tomorrow.”

Demko sustained a lower-body injury during Vancouver’s victory over the Winnipeg Jets on March 9, forcing him to miss the last 12 games. Despite the setback, he remains tied for the most wins this season alongside Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers, boasting an impressive record of 34 victories. Demko’s absence has been felt, with the Canucks going 6-5-1 in his absence, relying heavily on Casey DeSmith in goal.

With Vancouver leading the Pacific Division standings by five points over the Edmonton Oilers and already securing a playoff spot, the coaching staff is gradually increasing Demko’s workload to prepare him for a return to action. However, Tocchet refrained from specifying a timeline for his comeback.

Meanwhile, Tocchet provided an update on Lindholm, stating that the Swedish forward is “getting close” to returning and may feature in Wednesday’s matchup against the Arizona Coyotes. Lindholm has been sidelined since March 23 due to an upper-body injury, which has been nagging him for some time.

“I tried to tough it out initially, but eventually, I had to concede defeat,” Lindholm explained on Tuesday. “It was necessary to let it heal properly. I’m eager to hit the ice again soon.”

Acquired from the Calgary Flames in a significant trade on January 31, Lindholm has struggled to find his form with the Canucks, tallying five goals and four assists in 22 games. Despite the slow start, he is determined to make a meaningful impact in the postseason and is eagerly looking forward to returning to action.

“I came here with the goal of contributing in the playoffs. Although things haven’t gone as planned in the regular season so far, I’m excited to get back out there,” Lindholm expressed. “I’m feeling motivated, confident, and ready to make a difference.”

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