A recent injury to Roberto Luongo has forced the Vancouver Canucks to turn to first-year backup goaltender Eddie Lack. while Lack has proven to be capable at the NHL level, he has struggled recently after a 7-2-0 start to the season. In each of his past three starts, the 26-year-old Swede has been tagged for four goals. He has lost his last four outings (two in shootouts, one in overtime) while getting at least two goals worth of offensive support by his teammates in each of those games. The last two losses saw him tested often, as he turned aside 45 shots in an overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 5 and made 31 saves in a shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 7. With Luongo now expected to miss up to two weeks, Lack will be called on to step up, and if the Canucks hope to keep pace in the Pacific Division they need him to return to his early-season form as soon as possible.
The Canucks had to sign 43-year-old former minor league goalie Rob Laurie as a backup for the game against the Ducks, and they have since called up Joacim Eriksson from the Utica Comets of the AHL. Eriksson is 8-11-1 with a 2.84 goals-against on a struggling Comets team, and with no NHL experience to this point it seems unlikely he will steal time from Lack. After three seasons in the AHL and a trade that sent Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils, the Canucks promoted Lack to be Luongo’s backup. He got off to a hot start in Vancouver, and with a potent offense in front of him there’s nothing to suggest he can’t help his team get things back on track in the next few weeks.
If the Canucks are going to keep pace with those teams than they need Lack to play like he did earlier in the season. Fans looking to watch them in person can get all their Canucks tickets for the rest of the season here.