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Demko calm during skid: 'Not going to be a perfect season'

Michael Martin / National Hockey League / Getty

The Vancouver Canucks have lost four games in a row for the first time this campaign, but goaltender Thatcher Demko said his team is well-equipped to handle this bump in the road.

"We're going to go through this. It's not going to be a perfect season," he said after Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken. "This is the first bit of adversity that we've faced, so I'm sure it's fun to write that we're struggling or whatever, but it's part of the game, it's part of the sport. We're learning from it.

"Maybe the one good thing about the seasons that we've had in the past is that we've been through stretches like this. I like to think that we've learned a lot from those seasons."

Vancouver has only made the playoffs once in the last eight seasons, with its most recent appearance coming in 2020. The Canucks are going to return to springtime relevancy this year thanks to an electric campaign that has them sitting atop the Pacific Division with a 10-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Canucks still lead the league in regulation victories (33) while ranking second in wins (37) and fourth in points percentage (.678). Though coach Rick Tocchet said he doesn't "want to go crazy" over Thursday's defeat, he acknowledged that his team has to "pick it up."

"I mean, this is not even close to playoff hockey," he said. "(The Kraken) were desperate, but if these guys think playoff hockey is that, we're in trouble. There's been a couple of games here where we need some guys to get going. I don't care what our record is; it's been a little bit disturbing, some of the efforts from some of the guys right now."

The Canucks have been outscored 22-12 over their current slump, with all four losses coming in regulation. Star defenseman Quinn Hughes said he's focused on not changing his mindset in the face of his squad's mini-skid.

"I've told (the media) the whole year that I was gonna try to be not too high, not too low," he said. I think I've done a really good job of that so far, and I think the guys in this room have done a really good job. … There's obviously a level where we know to be better, but also no one's panicking."

Vancouver's next chance to get back in the win column will come Saturday against Boston. The Bruins won their first meeting of the season 4-0.

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