McKenna Match of the Day: April 6 – Thatcher Demko vs. Robin Lehner

Former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna offers his daily starting goaltender game of the day for Wednesday. April 6, 2022:

Why I love this game:

The Vancouver Canucks are at breaking point: they need to win almost every game to have a chance of making the Stanley Cup playoffs. And the Vegas Golden Knights are in a similar situation — they’re currently one point behind the Dallas Stars, who hold the last wildcard spot in the Western Conference. Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko and Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner have little room for error. The pressure is there.

To monitor :

Which team – and goalie – gets off to a better start. Just three nights ago, these teams faced off and the Golden Knights were far superior in the opening frame. They outshot the Canucks and quickly took the lead. Lehner wasn’t too busy, but he made some key saves late in the first half.

On Sunday night, Demko was beaten twice on the glove side – a rarity for the California-raised goaltender. Its mechanics are excellent. Demko skates well and generally stays in his posts. Tidy is probably the best word to use to describe his game. Demko is 1-1-3 in his last five starts.

Lehner missed nearly a month through injury and didn’t miss a beat on his return: the Swedish keeper stopped 26 of 28 shots. Lehner is generally reserved in his movements, but he’s willing to go deeper and challenge the shooter when he’s convinced there are no passing options. Lehner has a .909 save percentage this season in 39 games played.

What fantasy owners should do:

It’s a tough game to predict. Neither goalkeeper faces many shots and both teams will be desperate. Last game was a little weak: if that’s any indication of tonight’s game, it should be low-scoring. I would start both goalkeepers – with one eye closed.

Conclusion for Thatcher Demko:

Have a good first period and avoid getting beaten.

Conclusion for Robin Lehner:

Keep it simple and let the game come to it. When in control and square to the puck, Lehner is tough to beat.

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