Vancouver's Eddie Lack has been the beneficiary of that team's ongoing goalie turmoil. With both Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo gone, Lack has become the de facto number one goalie.
At age 26, never drafted, and without a single NHL game to his credit prior to this season, he has the full burden of the Canucks' battle for a playoff spot. At this writing he has started ten straight games, dating back to before the Luongo trade, going 4-5-1 in that span.
* PLAYING AGAINST LUONGO:
I didn't really think about it. It was a little bit weird in the shootout, hoping that we would score on him. He gave them (Florida) a point by keeping them in the game. (With a wink) I challenged Roberto to a goalie fight but he wouldn't want to go.
* PRESSURE IN VANCOUVER:
No additional pressure. I'm just trying to play my game. I played a lot of games in the minors before this and I feel that I can handle the workload. I'm just trying to trust my foundations and play my game. John Tortorella has been good to me.
* FAVORITE GOALIES:
I started playing hockey when I saw Tommy Salo when Sweden won the gold in the 1994 Olympics. I followed Henrik Lundqvist when he started to be really big. Also I've been a huge Patrick Roy fan throughout my whole career.
Although Tortorella had, by his actions (such as the snub of Luongo in the Heritage Classic), declared Lack to be No. 1 even before the trade, he would not publicly make that concession.
In one of his media sessions in Florida, amidst the hoopla of Lack facing Luongo, Tortorella said, "No-one said he was going to be a no.1 right away. This is a process that he needs to go through. He has earned the opportunity to get a whack at this..... There's a lot to Eddie but you just can't bring a young guy in here, put him in a spot to try to take that No. 1 spot and say 'You're the No. 1 guy.'... There are going to be some bumps in the road."
Earlier this season, after only five NHL appearances, the Canucks rewarded Lack with a two year one-way contract extension. With the relatively unproven Jacob Markstrom, received in the Luongo trade, as backup, it looks as if Lack will be getting a lot of work before the regular season ends.