Thatcher Demko was anxious about his first game back this week against the Dallas Stars after missing almost exactly three months with a groin injury that the Vancouver Canucks No. 1 admitted came with both physical and mental scar tissue he needed to play through.

“The first game back was definitely the biggest test I’ve had, mentally, probably in my career,” Demko told InGoal Magazine Wednesday. “The biggest thing is trust in yourself and at this point in my career I’ve seen so much and I’ve been in so many different situations. I’ve played great when I’ve felt terrible. I’ve played terrible when I felt great. So, just being in the moment. It’s so easy to say and I can preach to you about what you should do but I’ll be the first guy to tell you that on game days I definitely am working through some of that stuff still.”

That Demko is still working to find ways to manage his mindset is good advice in itself. It’s not a process that comes naturally or easily for everyone, and the Canucks goalie is no different even in his fifth NHL season and with a psychology degree from Boston College.

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