St. Louis Blues v Vancouver Canucks

Report: Eddie Lack to start Heritage Classic for Canucks


Oh boy, here we go again. Another goalie controversy in Vancouver?

According to multiple reports, rookie goalie Eddie Lack will get the start in goal for the Vancouver Canucks against the Ottawa Senators in Sunday’s Heritage Classic. That would make it three straight starts out of the Olympic break for the 26-year-old Lack, who is in his first NHL season.

In his last three starts, including one against the Detroit Red Wings prior to the Olympic break, Lack has been stellar. He’s allowed only two goals over those last three starts, despite a record of just 1-1-1. The problem has been lack – no pun intended – of goal support.

After the Canucks practiced at BC Place Stadium on Saturday, one day before hitting the ice for real against the Senators, head coach John Tortorella did not reveal who his starting goalie would be.

Lack was the first goalie to talk to media after the skate. He also said he hadn’t heard who was starting, but spoke highly of the ice conditions inside BC Place.

“We used to have two practices a week outdoor and three inside. It’s a really cool event. I’m really looking forward to it,” Lack told reporters.

“I’ve never been in here before, so from the first time I walked in here this morning, I was just like, ‘Oh my God, this is going to be so cool.”

This isn’t the first time the Canucks have found themselves with something of a goalie controversy on their hands.

For almost two years, the Canucks tried to move Luongo, tied into a 12-year, $64 million contract, in a trade, after his starting job was taken over by Cory Schneider in the 2012 playoffs. Remember that whole ‘My contract sucks’ line?

In the end, Schneider was dealt to the New Jersey Devils at the NHL Draft.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.