Is Eddie Lack ready to be a starting goalie in the NHL? Canucks fans have been asking this question for a while now.
Doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks now, of course, because he is one.
With Ryan Miller injured and Lack taking over as starter for now, here are four reasons he’s ready for the job.
Eddie Lack is good at tweeting.
— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) January 3, 2015
He’s good at eating.
— Derek Jory (@NoJoryous) January 8, 2015
He’s a family man.
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) February 19, 2015
It wasn’t pretty but we got it done! Thanks for the support daddys:) pic.twitter.com/NBmkE6zIIc
— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) February 12, 2015
— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) January 30, 2015
He’s good at cleaning up.
Sharpest tools in the toolbox! pic.twitter.com/Xvy9ARElA1
— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) January 29, 2015
And he can make saves sitting down.
— SC (@BelieveSC87) December 15, 2014
Since he excels at everything he does, it makes sense that standing in front of a hockey net and stopping pucks is NBD, no?
Kevin Woodley from NHL.com and InGoal Magazine came on our podcast yesterday and we asked him about Lack’s game.
“(Lack’s) got great hands for his size… He’s got that reactive ability.
For a goalie as big as he is, for a goalie who puts himself in position to get in the way of pucks, which is what we refer to as ‘blocking’ as a goaltender – when you’re in that position that all you need to do is close a hole and it hits you – his block-react theshold is very close to the net. He doesn’t go into a pure block until it’s pretty darn close.
I’ve had the pleasure of being on the ice with Eddie and running video with him and Alex Auld… In situations where a lot of other goaltenders, and I mean elite goaltenders are going to be just pulling those hands close to their hips and trying to make sure they close the holes so nothing goes through them, he’s still got an active element with that hand where he hasn’t gone into close the holes block mode.
So if that puck’s headed for the top corner, he’s still able to react to it with a shoulder lean, or get that glove up and either get a peice or get his glove on it.
That to me is a separator for him.”
The Province’s Jason Botchford was on TSN 1040 this morning, talking about how ready Lack is.
“Everything he’s done since last year has been about preparing him for a moment like this. There’s lots of reasons he can excuse what happened at the end of last year. The team collapsed, let’s face it.
There were all kinds of injuries – they went the opposite way this current team has been going the last few weeks with their injuries. He was a rookie. He was asked to do the impossible in replacing Roberto Luongo. He was asked to play 19 straight games, 14 of them in 27 days, it was a crazy schedule and his back was injured for the last three and a half weeks of the season.
He could have excused it. Instead he didn’t. He rebuilt himself. He came to training camp a different looking guy. Physically he’s ready for the workload. Mentally, he’s spent a lot of time preparing for this.
I think he’s going to kill it.”
At the end of last season, Greg Balloch of InGoal Magazine wrote an in-depth article on what Lack needed to work on in the off season.
In it, Balloch analyzes how Lack’s back was “too straight” as he moved laterally. If Balloch was able to see this, you have to think Lack’s goalie coach would’ve been working on it with him all summer.
From the article:
This year was an important development year for Lack, but 2014-2015 may be even bigger. He is at an age where he can no longer be considered a “prospect” and needs to start to show signs of becoming an elite goaltender. Looking back, he had a rookie season to be proud of, but it is crucial for him to improve. He’s heading into the most important off season of his career, and he knows it.
“I missed last summer with my surgery and everything. Now I’m looking forward to getting a good summer under my belt,” Lack said “Coming into training camp next season will be a little bit easier. I have all summer to digest all of this and I’m going to be ready to step it up.”
How did that summer of conditioning go? From the Province:
“When the season was over, Lack moved into a summer cabin with his strength and conditioning coach. They trained relentlessly, their program like a page torn from a Rocky script. His days would start at dawn and end with on-ice sessions at 9 p.m.”
If not, we don’t have long to wait to see how he does under the spotlight.