Silovs or DeSmith? Tocchet speaks on Canucks’ Game 6 goalie decision

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The Vancouver Canucks have a goalie decision to make ahead of the biggest game of their season.

Both Casey DeSmith and Arturs Silovs are healthy enough to start tomorrow in Game 6 against the Nashville Predators. Head coach Rick Tocchet needs to choose which netminder he wants to start the crucial playoff game.

When asked today who will lead the team onto the ice on Friday, Tocchet kept his cards close to his chest and explained that the choice had not been made yet.

“Same protocol, talk to a few people,” said the head coach about the decision ahead. “I rely on [goalie coach Ian Clark] a lot. Ultimately, it’s my decision, but I do value his opinion a lot. He’s excellent at what he does.”

Tocchet said he would make his decision this afternoon. Both goalies have a case for why they should be the starter tomorrow night.

Silovs has started the past two games for the Canucks. He stopped 52 of 57 shots over those two starts, winning one and losing one. He has yet to put up a save percentage lower than .900% during any postseason start.

The Latvian has looked big and confident in the net during his starts. He’s performed in pressure situations in the past, including at the 2023 World Championships, where he led Latvia to a bronze medal.

Silovs took over because DeSmith sustained a minor injury in Game 3. The team’s regular season backup is now fully healthy and is an option to start for Game 6.

During his last outing, DeSmith was excellent and stopped 30 of 31 shots to lead the Canucks to a 2-1 victory. He’s more proven at the NHL level than Silovs and helped backstop the team during some stretches during the regular season.

“Casey is one of the best guys you’ll ever coach, unreal guy in the room,” said Tocchet today. “Casey when we need him, has been there for us.”

The head coach made it clear that the deciding factor will come down to whoever gives the team the best chance to win.

“I make my decisions on the crest, it’s a team thing,” said Tocchet.

The puck drops at 4 pm PT tomorrow as the Canucks look to punch their ticket to the second round.