Ryan Miller will be back in a Canucks uniform tonight when he backs up Eddie Lack versus the Coyotes.
Miller has not been in the lineup since suffering a sprained knee Feb. 22 on Long Island. It’s possible he could start Saturday versus Edmonton, allowing him to get some game action before the playoffs begin, while also giving Lack a rest.
Lack remains likely to start Game 1 of the playoffs next week, though coach Willie Desjardins has not publicly committed to either netminder.
Vancouver has already clinched a playoff spot and could, depending also on what happens in the Flames-Kings game, clinch second-place in the Pacific Division tonight.
The Canucks have sent Jacob Markstrom back to the AHL.
About two years ago, lives were lost and plenty others were shaken by the Boston Marathon Bombings. Eventually, people tried to return to some form of normalcy, which added special meaning to some Boston Bruins games.
Watch the video below for some emotional memories of that time in April 2013, including reflections from former Buffalo Sabres Ryan Miller and Steve Ott (who played for the road team on one especially memorable evening).
Vancouver head coach Willie Desjardins — who, it has to be said, treats lineup decisions like top-secret nuclear codes — played it coy on Wednesday, refusing to reveal who’d be his starting netminder when the Canucks open the playoffs next week.
To most, the decision is simple and logical — Eddie Lack should open as the No. 1. The lanky Swede has been Vancouver’s goalie of record in 19 of 21 games since Ryan Miller went down to injury in late February, going 11-6-2 while backstopping Vancouver to the playoffs after a one-year absence. Lack has played well, played often and justifiably earned the gig.
But there are some things to consider with Miller.
The first is that he signed a three-year, $18 million deal to be the starter in Vancouver and, through two-thirds of the season, performed in that role quite well (28-15-1, 2.47 GAA, .913 save percentage.) And there is the oft-uttered “you shouldn’t lose your job to injury” adage to consider, even if nobody believes it to actually be true (just ask Drew Bledsoe.)
There’s also the fact Miller appears to be racing back from injury. On Friday, he flew out to join the team in Winnipeg just so he could practice and, today, said there was a chance he’d dress for tomorrow’s penultimate regular-season game against Arizona, which could pave the way for a start against Edmonton in the finale:
Finally, there’s the experience factor. Lack has a grand total of zero playoff games on his resume; Miller has 53, which includes a pair of trips to the Eastern Conference Final with Buffalo in 2006 and ’07.