Canucks Call Up Joacim Eriksson, So What’s the Deal with Luongo’s Groin?

Hockey is back.. basically. With the Christmas break now in the rearview mirror, and teams set to resume play – though the Canucks won’t technically be back in action until Sunday, when they take on the Flames – news has trickled out that the team has called up 3rd string goaltender Joacim Eriksson from the Utica Comets.

Read on past the jump for a quick take on what this means (.. and all things Luongo’s groin, ladies..)

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Maybe you’ve been drinking far too much rum and egg nog, and have forgotten what took place before the Holidays. So let me remind you that Roberto Luongo left last Sunday’s victory over the Winnipeg Jets with what looked like a groin injury. Eddie Lack came in and did a fine job once again, allowing just 1 goal against on 16 shots (eventually earning the W). And while the injury certainly didn’t look overly serious in nature – which was further supported by all of the talk following the game – there’s some history here which I’m sure the team is all too familiar with.

If you’ll recall back in the ’08-’09 season Luongo strained his groin in a game against the Penguins, ultimately missing 24 total games of action. I still vividly remember him trying to return just 2 weeks into it, before reaggravating the injury. Anyone that has had one of their own such injuries out there knows that all you can really do is rest it until it’s right, and that trying to rush it can really prove to be futile.

Which is why I’m sure the Canucks will be playing it safe with Luongo here, especially since Lack has proven (in a limited sample size, albeit) that he’s more than capable of getting the job done. I personally think this move has a lot more to do with the schedule and the cirumstances – they play a back-to-back on Sunday and Monday – than it being some sort of writing on the wall for Luongo and his groin. But we’ll see. I’m sure we’ll know more about the situation shortly.

As for Eriksson, he has really started to settle in with the Comets over the past couple of weeks or so. Even though he’s 23 years old, keep in mind that this is his first taste of North American hockey, so it’s a given that there would be an adjustment period. Both he and the Comets really came out of the gate slowly, but in following Josh’s weekly prospect report that he does for us, I’ve noticed that Eriksson has really been rounding into form. He currently sits with a .907 save%, and 2.77 GAA, which are nothing to write home about, but are also a vast improvement from the sub.-900/3.00 GAA+ marks he was rocking until recently.

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There aren’t too many highlights available online, unfortunately, but I did come across this one from a game in November in which Eriksson makes a handful of nice saves. Plus.. there’s a David Booth sighting. Remember that?

  • I agree that this is all precautionary and says more about the play of Lack and Eriksson than anything else. Lack has looked as poised and solid as any goaltender I have watched this season. He is rarely out of position and has Aretha quick glove hand to pair with his size. I’m sure Eriksson will play better than expected if he starts Mondays game. Dude has been getting peppered in Utica, so while he will be facing NHL talent, the Nucks Dcorp will be a nice upgrade. Hopefully the team can keep the solid streak going until the Olympic break. Go gettem