It looks like the Canucks are right back in the middle of a Luongo-Schneider type drama, as Eddie Lack is going to start his third game in a row in the Heritage Classic.
Does this signal a goaltending controversy? Is there a trade imminent? If you’re a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, nothing should surprise you.
Now, we aren’t quite at Luongo-Schneider levels quite yet but we can see where this is going. Schneider began the takeover of the number one job with getting multiple games in a row, but had to flourish with those starts. Eddie Lack will try to do the same.
Personally, I don’t think Lack is quite ready for prime time, but he may not be far off. I also don’t think Luongo is finished as a starting goalie. Unless they are sitting Luongo because they are about to trade him, then I don’t understand this move.
While Luongo in all likelihood still wants to be traded out of Vancouver and GM Mike Gillis probably will try to oblige, I still don’t think anyone wants his albatross of a contract.
If the Canucks are going to continue to be saddled with Luongo’s contract, they ought to do their best to put him in a position to succeed. While Lack has played outstanding (he has a better SV% and GAA than Luongo this season), it’s not significantly better enough in my opinion to warrant stapling Luongo to the bench.
So why is Tortorella doing this? In my mind, it’s nothing more than him believing that Eddie Lack gives his team the best chance to win right now. This is the same guy who sat Brad Richards in last year’s playoffs and played John Grahame ahead of starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin in the 2003 playoffs. In both cases, the play of the established players warranted being benched.
So Tortorella is going to go with the guy that he believes gives him the best chance to win in the here and now. And right now that’s the guy with the better numbers and the better recent outings. Right now, that’s Eddie Lack.