The Vancouver Canucks are packing their bags and heading home from the Edmonton bubble after an unbelievable playoff run ended in disappointing fashion Friday night.
Still, the club should feel nothing but pride in what they accomplished, winning two series — including one against the defending Stanley Cup champions — and pushing one of the NHL’s best teams to a 0-0 tie mid-way through the third period of Game 7.
Of course, the biggest reason their series with the Vegas Golden Knights even got to that point was goaltending, but it wasn’t Jacob Markstrom holding the fort. Instead, rookie sensation Thatcher Demko almost single handedly led the Canucks to the upset with three huge performances in Games 5, 6 and 7.
Now, general manager Jim Benning has the very difficult task of deciding whether Demko has shown enough to be a primary starter or if Markstrom — a pending free agent — should be offered a contract to return.
Whichever way Benning chooses to go will shape the Canucks for years to come.
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