Canucks GM Mike Gillis on goaltender Eddie Lack: 'He wants to be a Canuck'

Mar 27, 6:25 PM

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack has posted only league average numbers in his rookie season. Those numbers look an awful lot better, however, when you consider the circumstances the raw 26-year-old Swede has been thrust into in Vancouver.

Lack started out the season as a backup. But he outperformed presumptive starter Roberto Luongo, and particularly stood out when the former netminder went down with injury in late December. Ultimately Lack started ahead of Luongo at the Heritage Classic in early March, and was jeered by Canucks fans throughout the game.

The decision by the Canucks to start Lack during the Heritage Classic served as the straw that broke the Camel's back in terms of the club's relationship with Luongo. He was finally dealt to the Florida Panthers early the next week.

The good humored Lack struggled initially in adjusting to the starter's role after Luongo was traded, however, he's been on fire of late. In Lack's past five games the affable goaltender has posted a .920 save percentage while managing a favorable decision four times.

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was asked about Lack's maturity and emerging resiliency on Thursday, during an appearance on Vancouver sports talk radio station the Team 1040. The embattled Canucks executive offered the following:

Eddie's a special player, and we felt he was a special young guy. He's got a great ability to laugh at himself, he's got all the physical tools that you look for in a goaltender, he's got great size and athleticism and he works extremely hard on his game. 

We knew we had something speical a couple of years ago with him. We're not concerned at all about it, there's going to be ups and down as he goes through this process in establishing himself as a number one guy. It's part of what happens and he'll be better off for it. He's got a great personality and he wants to be a Canuck.

We're confident in him

Lack will start the second of back-to-back games on Thursday night against the explosive Colorado Avalanche. 

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Anne-Marie Sorvin

Mar 11, 8:14 PM

Canucks G Eddie Lack goes through growing pains as he adjusts to becoming Batman

Mar 11, 8:14 PM

Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack is the goalie Vancouver deserves, even if he's not the goalie the Canucks need right now...

Vancouver's goaltending saga dragged on for years, as the organization and the fanbase jockeyed between Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, two elite starters. But both Schneider and Luongo have been sent packing over the past 10 months, which leaves the 26-year-old Lack - fresh-faced and possessing only  29 games of NHL experience - as the team's starter.

Lack has gone through some growing pains since emerging as the surprise victor in the Luongo/Schneider tug-of-war. Since Luongo was sent to Florida in a shocking deal on NHL trade deadlines eve, Lack has surrendered 12 goals on 67 shots for a brutal .820 save percentage...

"It’s easy to be Robin," Canucks head coach John Tortorella told reporters when asked about Lack's apparent growing pains. "When you become Batman it changes a little bit and we expect some bumps in the road with Eddie."

The biggest adjustment, presumably, a smaller codpiece.

While Lack will require some patience from the team, the struggling Canucks will need Lack to morph into the caped crusader they obviously believe he can be and soon. As it stands now, they're losing ground quickly in the (Adam) Western Conference...

The affable Lack, however, seems nonplussed about the pressure being placed on his shoulder. "I always want to be Batman. Just going try to do my best here and get back at it," Lack said on Tuesday.

Added Lack: "The Batmobile is pretty cool."