Tag: Ryan Miller

‘I don’t think he’s tired,’ says Canucks GM Benning of goalie Lack


Brought back into the role of starting goalie since the injury to Ryan Miller, Eddie Lack has now appeared in 13 consecutive games for the Vancouver Canucks.

And it’s very likely he’ll continue to see the bulk of the work, as that team fights for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. On Thursday, the Canucks jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the Columbus Blue Jackets and then collapsed in a 6-2 loss on home ice. Lack was pulled in the third period. It was a bad night for him and a bad night for the team in front of him, too.

The Canucks play the L.A. Kings on Saturday in a huge divisional match-up. The Canucks lead the Kings by two points in the Pacific Division, and are 0-3 this season against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

If the above report turns out to be the case, it would mean 14 straight games for Lack.

The question of fatigue has come up again because Lack was played right into the ground by the end of last season, after the Canucks traded Roberto Luongo.

Behind Lack right now is Jacob Markstrom.

Speaking on TSN 1040 radio in Vancouver, Canucks general manager Jim Benning didn’t believe that fatigue was an issue for the 27-year-old Lack.

“You know, Eddie’s played well going into (Thursday’s) game. I thought he’s responded well to being the No. 1 goalie and … giving our team a chance to win games. Having said that, we need good goaltending,” said Benning.

“I don’t think he’s tired. But I think the plan is to try to get Jacob in maybe a game or two, but that depends on how we do, too, and the importance of the games.”

Meanwhile, Benning said Miller, out since Feb. 22 with a knee sprain, is on schedule in his recovery, despite a report earlier this week that Miller wouldn’t be back before playoffs, and that he skated Wednesday.

“He felt pretty good,” said Benning. “He’s working with our medical staff on a day-to-day basis and they’re working with him to get him healthy and up and going, so everyday he seems like he’s getting a little bit better. But we don’t have a timetable yet for him as to when he’s going to be back.”

Canucks fall apart after taking 2-0 lead vs. Jackets


The Vancouver Canucks took a 2-0 lead with goals just 40 seconds apart early in the second period, but their fortunes dramatically reserved in what ended up being a 6-2 loss to Columbus.

Marko Dano, 20, played a big part in the Blue Jackets’ comeback with two goals and an assist. Scott Hartnell netted his 22nd marker of the season midway through the third period to chase Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack out of the game.

Lack, who has been very effective for the most part in place of Ryan Miller (knee), turned aside just 25 of 30 shots. Jacob Markstrom made his first appearance for Vancouver since his “nightmare” performance on March 3 and saved both shots that he faced.

Every loss is problematic for a team battling for a playoff spot and coughing up a game against a squad near the bottom of the standings is always going to sting. Having said that, the timing of this setback is particularly bad for Vancouver for a couple of reasons. For starters, Calgary, Winnipeg, and San Jose all won tonight so the Western Conference race has tightened significantly. The other factor is that this was Vancouver’s final opportunity to feast on an Eastern Conference opponent.

The Canucks are 21-10-1 against the East in 2014-15, even with tonight’s loss. By comparison, Vancouver is 19-16-3 against Western Conference opponents and that’s all the squad has left.

Vancouver will play against Los Angeles next, which it has a 0-3-0 record against in 2014-15.

Lack: ‘So much is different this year, it’s hard to compare’


Eddie Lack isn’t worried about a repeat of last year, when the Vancouver Canucks goalie was forced to start 19 straight games down the stretch — in a span of 41 days, no less — after Roberto Luongo was traded to Florida in early March.

This time around, with starter Ryan Miller reportedly out until at least the playoffs, Lack doesn’t believe his game will suffer with the increased workload, as it did last year.

“My body and mentally, I am feeling way better, but I am getting a lot more rest in between starts too,” Lack said ahead of his 13th straight appearance tonight versus Columbus, per NHL.com.

“So much is different this year, it’s hard to compare. I’m feeling good.”

Lack credits a new offseason workout regiment for making him stronger and more durable.

From a travel perspective, the schedule has been less arduous, too. Last year, from March 4-27, the Canucks had eight away games. This year, they’ll only have four during that same frame, with none of them outside their time zone.

To be sure, Lack is unlikely to start the remainder of the schedule. Jacob Markstrom may get the nod this weekend, either Saturday in Los Angeles or Sunday in Arizona. The Canucks also have a tough four-games-in-six-nights trip through St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, and Winnipeg starting March 30.

Obviously, coach Willie Desjardins will want to keep Lack fresh as possible. Because there’s another thing that’s unlike last year at this time — the Canucks are in a playoff spot.

Related: After ‘nightmare’ start for Markstrom, Canucks face goaltending conundrum