No Demko but plenty of spirit as fans prepare for Game 2 of Canucks playoff run

Big crowds are expected in downtown Vancouver, as excitement builds for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoff matchup versus the Nashville Predators.

“We saw significant numbers of people in the downtown core, around the arena on Sunday night, and we are expecting as many if not more coming into the city,” Vancouver police Sgt. Steve Addison said Tuesday.

Police said they will be boosting their presence outside Rogers Arena and throughout the downtown core in anticipation of the crowds.

“It’s not just people going to the game,” Addison added.

“We saw a lot of people coming down just to experience something we haven’t had an opportunity to experience in a long time, families, people pushing strollers who were coming down to the fan zone just to soak in that playoff vibe.”

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Click to play video: 'Canucks’ goalie Thatcher Demko out for Game 2 of playoffs with injury'

Canucks’ goalie Thatcher Demko out for Game 2 of playoffs with injury

The good vibes took a bit of a hit earlier Tuesday when the club announced star netminder Thatcher Demko was sidelined with an undisclosed injury.

But that hasn’t stopped Canucks fever from spreading from Surrey to Vancouver City Hall.

A vintage “Black Skate” Canucks jersey-wearing Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim quipped that he had given the council chambers a “major makeover” in honour of the big game, and shared a photo of the room draped in Canucks flags and white towels.

Despite the mayor’s enthusiasm, there was still no word Tuesday about plans for public viewing parties in the city similar to those being hosted in Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto.

Click to play video: 'Canucks fans out in full force for official return of Stanley Cup playoffs to Vancouver'

Canucks fans out in full force for official return of Stanley Cup playoffs to Vancouver

The City of Delta is hosting the region’s only official outdoor watch party, which starts at 7 p.m. at Social Heart Plaza.

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After Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Predators, jubilant fans revived the tradition of celebrating at the intersection of Scott Road and 72 Avenue, and Delta Police said they were working with Surrey RCMP to boost patrols in the area Tuesday.

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It wouldn’t be a playoff run without a pump-up hockey anthem, and fans and musical artists DJ Heer and ASM have answered the call this year with a track dubbed ‘Game Night’ that’s been getting plenty of play on social media.

“I’ve been a die-hard Canucks fan growing up, I’ve been a DJ for 19 years, I thought I’d bring the two passions together,” DJ Heer told Global News.

“It’s more of a song that pumps up the city and showcases Vancouver in the music video. My favourite part of the song is how we incorporated different players into the lyrics,” added ASM.

Click to play video: 'Local artists release Vancouver Canucks’ pump-up song ahead of playoffs'

Local artists release Vancouver Canucks’ pump-up song ahead of playoffs

Meanwhile, some iconic names from the Canucks’ past have surfaced on social media as the hype builds for Tuesday’s showdown.

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Power forward Ryan Kelser, famous for going ‘beast mode’ and carrying the club through the team’s series against Nashville during the 2011 Stanley Cup run, is in town for Tuesday’s game.

He was at Rogers Arena Tuesday morning, where he posed for a quick video with his son Ryker — who was just months old the last time the Canucks made a cup run.

“What’s up Canucks fans, Ryan Kesler here, back in Vancouver, excited for Game 2, see you guys there,” he said.

“Go Canucks go!” added Ryker.

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Former Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack also posted a video to social media making light of the Thatcher Demko predicament.

Proclaiming himself “the hero Vancouver needs — maybe,” Lack showed a series of Demko headlines before cutting to a training montage of himself decked out in goalie gear.

The Canucks lead the Predators 1-0 in their best-of-seven series, with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

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