What Would You Do Wednesday: Eddie Lack

Welcome to a new feature here on Canucks Army and all sites on the Nation Network: What Would You Do Wednesday, where we put you, yes YOU, in charge of your own imaginary Vancouver Canucks. We’ll present you with a different scenario each week, and you tell us how you’d solve it in the comments section below. Give props to the answers you do like and trash the ones you don’t. Easy! So let’s get started:

First off, the top answers to last week’s WWYDW, on the topic of re-doing the Cody Hodgson deal. Here’s NM00 playing the ever-popular “lament the Canucks draft record” game that we love here at Canucks Army:

If we’re playing the hindsight game, I would prefer the Canucks to have selected any of Myers, Karlsson, Gardiner, Del Zotto, Eberle, Ennis or Carlson amongst 1st rounders over Hodgson and proceed NOT to alienate the selected player from the organization.
Of course, based on the draft record, the previous GM clearly did not have the crystal ball he so desperately wanted…

And here’s Frank, who likes how Kassian is developing outside of the limelight of the top-6:

I’m fine with getting Kassian for Cody. I’m hoping that Willie D will be able to get Kassian to play a smart, disciplined hard hitting game because I think he has the talent to take games over. But he can still make poor decisions at times and will cough up pucks when he could have a made a safe play.
Nevertheless, Kassian has the kind of size and fearlessness that we need in our division and maybe paired with a Horvat and Jensen as his linemates, we can feature a line that has overall good size, skating and scoring abilities.

Today’s order of business is just what to do with Eddie Lack.

Eddie Lack was very, very strong last season as Roberto Luongo’s backup, but faltered mightily after he was anointed the Canucks’ starter after Luongo was dealt. While some of this was regression, some of this poor latter-half performance was undoubtedly John Tortorella running Lack into the ground by playing him night after night after night.

Lack also looked primed to challenge Ryan Miller for starts in preseason, but he hasn’t been able to translate any of that success to the regular season either. He’s 2nd last in the entire NHL with a god-awful 0.875 save percentage, which is also the rate he’s stopping shots at even strength.

Miller, to his credit, has been solid. His 0.917 save percentage is tied for 23rd among NHL regulars, and right around his usual career average. Although his even strength rate leaves a little to be desired, Miller has yet to really cost the Canucks any games, and has held up his end of the bargain, which is all you can reasonably ask of a 34-year old goalie.

But Miller is on track to play in the neighborhood of 65 games, and that’s just too many for any goalie, let alone a guy his age. Eddie Lack will have to pick up more starts, but the question becomes “when?”

So your question this week is as follows: what do you do with Eddie Lack and the Canucks’ goalie situation? Do you bite the bullet and start a struggling Lack in a game coming up that’s not a back-to-back? Or do you keep running out Lack only on back-to-backs in hopes of preserving Miller for the playoffs? Which games coming up should Lack start? How many starts should he get this season? Would you look at trading him and calling up Jacob Markstrom before Lack’s stock drops too low? Tell us in the comments!

  • SJ

    Let Lack play. Stop burying him in the 2nd half of back-to-backs behind a tired team. Let him play some non back-to-back situations, and when it is btb, maybe give him the first game instead. Let Miller try to stand on his head and steal the 2nd game.

    He’s a good young goalie and the stats will come around. Also, he seems to be a great teammate off the ice, which is a pretty good quality in a backup, considering he spends more time off the ice than anyone else.

  • SJ

    We’ve seen that Lack has the ability to play great games and make some big saves.
    I feel that his confidence is not high enough right now. We should start Lack on games that are an ‘easy win’, so he feels that he’s where he needs to be.

  • SJ

    If Lack actually has any trade value left, take the best draft pick available for him.

    To be honest, even if he has negative trade value, and he may with his contract, I’d rather Markstrom be Miller’s backup.

    What kind of ceiling does Lack really have at this point?

    Lack wasn’t deemed good enough to be drafted by an NHL team as a 21 year old.

    He is now nearly 27 years old and hasn’t even faced 1,200 shots in the NHL.

    And in these limited NHL shots, he’s performed at a backup level.

    There isn’t a single twenty-something NHL starter that has followed a career path that looks remotely like the one Lack is on.

    Markstrom may very well be a bust but at least he has some ceiling…

    • Ya, his circumstance with Vancouver–the lack of opportunity between the pipes–is relatively rare in the NHL. Since you seem keen to draw conclusions on old data, I’m pretty sure that the success rate for goalies who post .926 and .925 save percentages in their 22 and 23 year old seasons respectively is very high. When given a fair opportunity with reasonable rest, he played well in the NHL. He hasn’t played nearly enough in the NHL to say that he will be good or he will be bad. To write him off because he hasn’t been given much opportunity being behind Luongo, Schneider and Miller, is frankly absurd.

      • “Ya, his circumstance with Vancouver–the lack of opportunity between the pipes–is relatively rare in the NHL.”

        What would be rare is for a goalie like Lack – in this era where both North America & Europe are properly scouted – becomes anything more than an NHL backup at best.

        Just take a look at every legit twenty-something starter in the NHL.

        Price, Rask, Schneider, Varlamov, Bernier, Bishop, Quick, Crawford.

        Not to mention the next wave of guys such as Holtby, Reimer, Lehner, Enroth.

        This isn’t 2004. Starting goalies pretty much all come from the same place.

        The lone exception is Bobrovsky and his career path doesn’t remotely resemble the one that Lack is on.

        Montreal moved out Halak for Price.

        Vancouver tried to move out Luongo for Schneider.

        Lack is not that guy.

        But, hey, let’s make a bet that no other team in the NHL is willing to make.

        Aside from perhaps the delusional ex-Oilers in Edmonton’s front office that believe Ben Scrivens is an NHL starter…

        • Oh boy, so in your last post you were prepared to write Lack off because he had face 1200 NHL shots and he’s nearly 27. Well, before last year, Ben Bishop’s (who turned 27 last October and who you just used as an example of a bonfide #1) career high for games played in a season in the NHL was 13. Very similar to Lack — except Lack had far better numbers in the AHL.

          It seems to me that you are content to totally disregard any AHL results.

          You seem to prefer a goalie who has a .905 save percentage as a 23 year old in the AHL AND was drafted in the third round than a goalie who wasn’t drafted and puts up a .925 save percentage as a 23 year old. Do you really think 6 year old data is more predictive than 3 year old data?

          • You mean the AHL numbers where, once again, Markstrom beats Lack if you compare them at the same age?

            Aside from being the guy that got their first, Markstrom possesses every advantage on Lack particularly pedigree of which Lack has none.

            I’m not sure how your argument is served by bringing up Bishop’s AHL numbers.

            Unless your point is that they have limited value…

            Bishop has actually, you know, performed at the NHL level as a starter (albeit only for one season) which Lack has never done.

            NHL starting goalies simply don’t follow the career path that Lack is on no matter how much stock you want to put in his overager AHL numbers…

          • BlazingSaitls

            “NHL starting goalies simply don’t follow the career path that Lack is on no matter how much stock you want to put in his overager AHL numbers…”

            Man, that is a terrible argument.

            It’s like if I was to point out that no one has ever skipped major junior, played Canadian University hockey, and become an NHL All-Rookie & All-Star–until Mike Ridley did it. Someone will always be first. Why not Lack?

            But..

            But… the whole point of the fancy footwork the Canucks did in the preseason was to protect all 3 of their primary goaltending assets–Miller, Lack, and Markstrom. Sneaking Markstrom through to the AHL the way they did allowed them to not have to sell any of their assets short, before finding out:

            *is Miller still an NHL calibre goalie?
            *is Lack an NHL-calibre backup?
            *has all the work with Rollie the Goalie Whisperer paid dividends?

            Well, now they have their answers. Yes, Miller is, for the time being at least, an NHL-calibre starter. Yes, Lack is capable of providing NHL-calibre backup performance. Yes, it looks like Markstrom found his game. So now we appear to have 3 goalies capable of taking starts in the NHL. But we can only dress 2. Does keeping Markstrom in the AHL serve any purpose in his development at this point? Small sample size, but it doesn’t look like it.

            So who stays & who goes? Well, if Miller can provide NHL calibre goaltending for this year +1, and if Markstrom has learned all he can from the AHL, then I’d say that the younger goalie should stay. So that means Lack needs must go.

            Would I trade him now? Hells, no. He’s not been given an opportunity to thrive this season. Give him a few of the weaker teams. Give him a few select starts against the other team’s back-to-backs. Give him, as much as you can with a goalie, the full Hodgson. And when his stats have been pumped, someone (Buffalo, Carolina, Philly) will take a swing on the guy.

            *Then* take that high-as-you-can-get draft pick.

            But don’t trade him now. We wouldn’t get anything for him right now.

          • BlazingSaitls

            I agree with some of this — Miller still clearly has game and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much he seems to settle down the rest of the team. But to say that Lack has delivered backup quality goaltending is a bit mystifying (regardless of the circumstances of the team playing in front of him). Additionally I think we need to take baby steps with Markstrom — maybe his game has completely turned around and being AHL goalie of the month means something (though he dominated in that league previously). But it’s seriously jumping the gun to say that we have 3 NHL starting goalies right now. Which is why your last point is the right one — what is the point in trading your assets when they are at their lowest? There is no reason to trade Lack now until you can a) prove Markstrom isn’t a mirage, b) raise his value to something beyond a 5th rounder which is all you could get right now. If we’d traded him in the off-season when his value was higher then maybe but now it seems foolish especially since we have zero idea whether Markstrom could be a capable NHL backup.

            NM00 I agree with you that Markstrom has the higher ceiling (i.e. not a backup). So why would we bring him up here to be a backup (and possibly reverse whatever gains have been made with him) when Lack can hopefully fulfill the role we need, of an actual backup?

          • Didn’t say NHL-starter calibre, I said NHL-calibre. A 35-game a season NHL goalie is an NHL-calibre goalie. And I’d say when you look at Lack’s complete NHL resume, he looks like an NHL-calibre goalie who can provide 30-35 quality starts per season. If Markstrom’s October in the AHL is too small a sample size to be certain (as I noted) then Lack’s 3 games in isolation is way too small a sample size.

            The advantage of my suggested path is that it also will provide cover until we know if Miller is too old to start 60 games without injury, if Lack’s season will continue on this year’s trajectory, or if Markstrom is an AHL wonder but not an NHL player.

            Since we have the ability, why make an irreversible decision until we need to?

          • BlazingSaitls

            “NM00 I agree with you that Markstrom has the higher ceiling (i.e. not a backup). So why would we bring him up here to be a backup (and possibly reverse whatever gains have been made with him) when Lack can hopefully fulfill the role we need, of an actual backup?”

            Unless you have one of the handful of elite NHL goalies such as Price or Rask, I’d rather the “backup” spot be given to someone who can one day become a starter.

            Particularly in Vancouver’s situation where if Miller flops or leaves as a UFA it’s entirely possible there won’t be a realistic starting goalie candidate in the organization unless Demko comes really quick…

          • BlazingSaitls

            Apprenticing behind Markstrom (in the long term) is probably the better bet, I agree. But going off the premise of the question posed to us, I don’t think this is the optimal time to trade Lack. You ask what we have learned now that we didn’t know 3 games ago — well I think Lack’s value going into the season was probably more given his work last year and the fact that most people were ready to excuse his post-Luongo slump by blaming Tortorella. Now being the owner of the majority of Canucks losses and not really standing out in any start on an otherwise successful start to the season would seem to me to drive his value to nearly nothing.

            So I suppose my question to you would be what value do you see in trading Lack since you’d get so little for him right now and bringing up Markstrom who I’m still not sure can handle NHL backup duties? You’d lose an asset for next to nothing, one who might yield something more with a bit of success this season. To be clear I find it hard to imagine we could get anything more than a 3rd for Lack even with significant success. I just don’t think Markstrom has shown enough to sacrifice the asset of Lack on the chance that he’s ready.

          • Steampuck

            I don’t believe NHL GMs valued Lack particularly highly before the season.

            Nobody was willing to use a draft selection on him as a 21 year old.

            I doubt his overager AHL numbers are given as much stock in NHL front offices as they are on here.

            29 other NHL teams are unwilling to give anyone that looks anything like Lack a shot at being a starter.

            I’d be surprised if he was worth more than a 3rd round pick to anyone other than MAYBE Winnipeg.

            And, even then, we’re talking about a 2nd round pick.

            Time is a valuable asset as well…

          • Steampuck

            The argument isn’t goalies have NEVER followed Lack’s path.

            More or less, Lundqvist, Rinne, Backstrom among other were late drafted/undrafted European goalies that have/had good NHL careers.

            The argument is that contemporary starting goalies have not followed that path or anything remotely resembling Lack’s path.

            “But don’t trade him now. We wouldn’t get anything for him right now.”

            What exactly do you think the Canucks would have received for him 3 games ago?

            He is not Cory Schneider.

            Even Bobrovsky – who was much younger when Philly traded him – only yielded a 2nd and a couple of 4ths.

            Lack is not even Bobrovsky, by the way.

            Goalies like him will not yield anything meaningful in trade.

            Though you are free to look for an example…

          • Steampuck

            “NHL starting goalies simply don’t follow the career path that Lack is on no matter how much stock you want to put in his overager AHL numbers…”

            -NM00

            “The argument isn’t goalies have NEVER followed Lack’s path.

            More or less, Lundqvist, Rinne, Backstrom among other were late drafted/undrafted European goalies that have/had good NHL careers.

            The argument is that contemporary starting goalies have not followed that path or anything remotely resembling Lack’s path.”
            -NM00

            *********************
            I’m not sure why you’re ‘answering’ me when we basically agree on the core question–of the 3 primary goaltending assets that the Canucks have, Lack is the most logical one to trade. We even agree that, right now, his value isn’t great.

            (From the two quotes above–both opening thesis statements of your posts, so they’re not out of context, BTW–you’re more in disagreement with yourself than with me. I’m not sure what is meant by ‘contemporary’, as all the players listed are active goalies in there NHL. Perhaps you could clarify.)

            As far as I can tell, our only point of disagreement is that I think we should keep him for a significant stretch of this season, because a) playing more (and better, of course) can only improve his value, and b) less than 20 games in is way too soon to make irreversible decisions about key assets.

            As near as I can tell, you seem to think otherwise, and that he should be thrown away to the first team that offers us a pretty smile and flutters their pretty eyelashes.

          • Steampuck

            We seem to disagree on Lack’s trade “value”.

            What do you believe he is worth?

            As I’ve stated, above, I doubt his value was ever particularly significant.

            He is not Schneider or even Bobrovsky…

          • The point was that one of your arguments for writing off Lack was that he is nearly 27 and hasn’t faced 1200 NHL shots. Well, before last year, that was also true for Ben Bishop. According to that logic, Ben Bishop should’ve never amounted to anything. My point is that it is just plain stupid to write off Lack just because he hasn’t really been given a true opportunity – especially when he has found himself behind the likes of Luongo, Schneider and Ryan Miller (driving him into the ground by playing him every game doesn’t count, by my judgement).

            And uhhh, I never compared Lack to Markstrom. My argument has nothing to do with Markstrom. I am saying that Lack’s most recent AHL #’s, his 22 and 23 y.o seasons, are on par with that of a very good NHL goalie. I’m not saying he WILL be a very good NHL goalie. But, again, I’m saying based on what we know right now, it is absurd to say he will amount to nothing.

            I’ll say it again – you seem to think 6 year old data is more predictive than 3 year old data. You’re stuck on the fact that he was never drafted, even though he has put up some outstanding numbers since. Adjust to new information.

            Yes, the vast majority of ‘good’ goalies who go undrafted wont amount to anything. It’s true. But it is also true that the vast majority of undrafted goalies won’t put up numbers like Lack did as a 22 + 23 y.o.

          • BlazingSaitls

            “The point was that one of your arguments for writing off Lack was that he is nearly 27 and hasn’t faced 1200 NHL shots. Well, before last year, that was also true for Ben Bishop. According to that logic, Ben Bishop should’ve never amounted to anything.”

            Such an adorable strawman.

            It’s true, though, that your made up argument is devoid of logic…

  • SJ

    As this site always advocates, the sample size here is just too small to make any major decisions. He hasn’t played well, but his 3 games have been behind a tired Canucks team playing the second night in a row. He’s young, and he proved last year that he has what it takes to at least be a high caliber back-up goalie.

    When it comes down to it, Miller can’t play every game, so who would be a better option as back-up? I think Markstrom’s NHL record and stats so far make him risky even as a back-up.

    Give Lack a few more starts in a non back-to-back game (maybe look for 25 total games in the season).

    And hold onto Markstrom unless his stock is so high in the AHL that a desperate GM comes along with a sweetheart deal.

    • SJ

      “As this site always advocates, the sample size here is just too small to make any major decisions.”

      “He’s young, and he proved last year that he has what it takes to at least be a high caliber back-up goalie.”

      A few hundred shots in a sheltered role “proves” he has what it takes to be a high caliber backup?

      There are only 60 NHL goalie jobs – in theory 30 starting jobs – and Lack is not the type of goalie that ANY other NHL team would give a shot at being a starter.

      What is the purpose of trying to develop a backup goalie when that’s probably as good as he ever becomes…

  • SJ

    I’d say deal Eddie Lack. He doesn’t have a ton of value but you could put him in a package and make a deal.

    His appeal may increase if a contending team has injury issues around the deadline.

    He’s still young too. If we’re out of the playoffs at the deadline then a package of Lack, Hansen and Higgins would be a nice get for a contending team needing some depth. Deal those three for a couple of prospects from Pittsburgh; a D man (no, they’re not dealing Pouliot) and a forwards. Perhaps a prospect and Beau Bennett (the often inured one whose stock is dropping). Who knows. Those three Canucks have a world of experience and would be nice assets for a playoff run.

  • Lol I feel like this was written by John Garrett. Lack has started three games and you’re talking like he’s barely capable of holding down the backup role. He is one of the best backups in the league, so ya, of course we can trust him to play 20-25 games and save Miller for the playoffs. As Money Puck showed in an earlier post, Lack was fantastic when given adequate rest. Small sample size, yes, but he has terrific AHL numbers too. And no, I would not consider trading him because his sv % is the second worst in the league IN 215 MINUTES!

  • SJ

    How amusing to see delusional Canuck fans try and break down the less than 1,200 NHL shots Lack has faced for some kind of meaning.

    So last year his implosion was because he played too much and now it’s because playing the 2nd night of a BTB is too difficult for a BACKUP goalie.

    That’s a pretty big component of the backup goalie job description.

    The key here is that he was a lottery ticket goalie in the first place, is two months from his 27th birthday, has faced less than 1,200 NHL shots and has performed like a generic backup so far in his NHL career.

    He is nobody’s starting goalie so give the roster spot to the guy in the organization that still has a sliver of a shot of becoming one down the road…

    • Steampuck

      Whats delusional is you writing off Lack in favor of Markstrom who hasnt had the success that Lack has had at the NHL level.

      Markstrom 47gp sv% 896 gaa 3.19
      Lack 36gp sv% 908 gaa 2.56

      On top of that Markstrom never played more than 23 games in a season and never as the starter. So the fact that Markstrom has faced more NHL shots mean very little when they are spread over 3 seasons of work as a (failed) backup.

      Prior to Lack (unexpectedly) taking over as the starter for the Canucks last season he was holding down a .926 sv % over 23 games. Those number sound a lot better than most NHL back ups.

      Btw Markstrom is 24 and Lack is 26..Lack was born in earlier January, so they are only 2 years apart.

  • How about we give Lack some starts on the first game of back to backs? Considering the fact that Miller is being paid $6 million, having him steal a couple of games behind a tired team isn’t too much to ask.

    Granted, it is still early in the season and Miller while solid, isn’t a world beater right now and we don’t know if he can put up a better than average type of year. If Miller falters in less sheltered situations then you will have shaken the confidences of both goalies.

    Still, the easiest option right now is giving Lack a start that isn’t the 2nd night of a back to back.

  • SJ

    Miller’s 9-1 hot streak is a marketing boon for a team that needs to sell more tickets.

    Give Lack the second games in back to backs, games against the California teams and any other tough games.

    Market the hell out of Miller and sell more tickets.

  • i think it’s basically up to lack to find his game again. i don’t think there is too much leeway for start scheduling starts around what is good for eddy. the conference is too competitive. i’ve seen him play great and i’m sure he’ll do it again.

    and as for miller’s save %…who cares? i’ve come to realize that a game is a whole form. breaking it down shot by shot misses the point. it’s wins that count. miller is winning games. he shuts the door when it counts. that’s not just happenstance. he’s concentrating on winning the game and his intensity and focus increases when the game is on the line. THAT’s what makes a good goalie.

  • I saw enough of Eddie last year that I think he will be fine and will get his groove back sooner than later.

    Eddie seems to have fun loving approach to the game and I doubt that he is overly concerned about his start to the season. He is not under the gun to be the #1 guy this year like last year after Lou left.

    From what I can tell, all the guys like Eddie and will find ways to play better in front of him. I think it’s fair to say that the boys have not been awesome in front of him. Doesn’t help, of course, that he’s had to come in on the 2nd night of back to backs.

    We have a smarter coaching staff this year and they will find ways to give him starts where he’s got a good chance to win some games.

    Markstrom is playing lights out now in Utica but has yet to translate his game to the big lights. But it’s a good problem to have when you have a guy who’s standing on his head and if we have an injury, we’ve got someone in the wings.

  • Reading the posts it’s like people are totally blown away that a goalie that’s undrafted can do well. It’s well documented that goalies are, for the most part, late bloomers. Many goalies don’t get to the NHL til’ their mid 20’s. Draft position means nothing; just ask Patrick White.

    • Just because you’re not bright enough to see the entire picture, don’t blame me.

      Maybe I have the big picture wrong. Let’s see.

      -Miller is here for 3 years with a limited NTC. He can name 5 teams he wants to go to. We all know he wants to stay on the west coast or close to it. How many decent teams need a goalie out this way? Right.

      -Lack is going to be a FA well before Miller’s contract expires and will look for more money (who knows if he gets it).

      -We have Markstrom and Ericcson in the system and both can handle the backup role.

      -Lack has been struggling this year and has never ‘outplayed’ Luongo. Talk to me when Lack can put together 1 stellar season.

      -Scuttlebutt on Lack is his back and hips were issues when Torts threw him to the wolves last year and the coaching staff isn’t sure he can handle a starting goaltenders workload.

      -Lack’s stock isn’t high right now but could be artificially inflated at the deadline if the circumstances are right.

      So, yeah, feel free to chime in on anything that might be inaccurate or just keep laughing away.

      • Did Luongo loose his starting job last year? Hmm … sure looks like he did.

        Did Luongo get outplayed by the goalie that stole his job? Absolutely.

        Is it a good idea to toss away the goalie that outplayed Luongo last season? Seems like a lot of people here think it is.

        Hilarious.

        • BlazingSaitls

          Just cuz you’re a moron, don’t assume everyone else is too.

          Lack did not do well when he became the starter. I don’t think he ever really outplayed Luongo. Finally, if you had to pick Lu or Lack for a playoff run, who would you pick? Exactly. Torts was a special fella!

          • BlazingSaitls

            Look at you, throwing around big words like moron! Congratulations!

            Show me the part of the season where Luongo started 19 games in a row and that he was able to handle it better than Lack. You can’t, can you? … because it didn’t happen.

            What do you think happened? That Luongo lost his job to a goalie that was playing worse than him? If so, you must be a special fella too.

            You and Torts deserve each other.

          • BlazingSaitls

            Hey, idiot, are you actually trying to tell me Lack is a better goalie than Luongo?

            Season Team Lge GP A PIM Min GA EN SO GAA W L T Svs Pct GP A PIM

            2013-14 Canucks 42 0 0 2418 96 0 3 2.38 19 16 6 1061 0.917

            2013-14 Canucks 41 0 0 2319 93 0 4 2.41 16 17 5 959 0.912

            Here are the stats for the Lack and Lu. Guess who is who. Go ahead. THen go ahead and take a look at career numbers. Yep, exactly.

            Lu is the first one and Lack is the second set of stats.

            Lack may have had a nice stretch here and there but there is no way I’d take him over Lu.

            Your stupidity seems to rival that of our other village idiot. Sad.

          • BlazingSaitls

            Eddie Lack’s GAA at the time of the trade and before Torts ran him into the ground was 2.10 and his Sv% was 0.924.

            Yep, exactly, much better than Lu’s.

            Nice try though.

            Rather than name calling and producing misleading stats, you might want to try to produce a credible argument.

            Or not. I suppose Torts could use the company…

          • BlazingSaitls

            Sure, but you answer my earlier questions first:

            Show me the part of the season where Luongo started 19 games in a row and that he was able to handle it better than Lack. You can’t, can you?

            Do you really think Luongo lost his job to a goalie that was playing worse than him?

          • Steampuck

            Haven’t researched it nor do I care to. In Lu’s career, I am sure he has had lengthy stretches where he has been fine. Torts was an idiot for snubbing Lu (especially at the Classic). Lu is/was a better goalie and career stats show that.

            Just because a nutjob coach opted for Lack over Lu doesn’t mean he was right in making that move. Anyway, I can’t go on with you. You’re in the same league as NoMind00 and I am not in the mood for Crazy Town right now.

  • BlazingSaitls

    Where the heck this Miller guy come from? Has Vancouver rekindled the dominant Olympic Miller? Arghhhhh…….

    I can respect the Flames at least. Im happy they are winning/over-achieving with the style they play.

    The fact the Canucks have a past his prime goalie who seemingly has been rejuvenated irks me to no end.

    I have a tip for Coach Willie. Play Lack more :p

    • BlazingSaitls

      -The fact the Canucks have a past his prime goalie who seemingly has been rejuvenated irks me to no end.-

      They had one. He’s over in Florida now with his twitter tweeting like a twit.

  • BlazingSaitls

    I would strongly suggest playing Lack enough to find out what he really is. As others have suggested, a 1200 shot sample size isn’t enough for us to have a good idea. If you try to trade him to make room for Markstrom, you get a mid-round draft pick which is a favourite to not have an impact on an NHL game, ever.

    Give Lack a real audition. The worst thing that happens is we find out he’s not good enough, and lose a few extra games in the process. The best thing that happens is he turns out to be a very good NHL goalie, and we flip him for a real asset, a la Schneider (thanks to that Miller contract, keeping him if he turns out to be above replacement level is probably not going to work out). Rinse and repeat with Markstrom, who has looked very good in AHL duty so far.

    Looking at the schedule, if you don’t feel comfortable starting him in one of the California games, he should get the start against Ottawa, as I assume Miller will face a lot of rubber over five games in three nights. Playing him in Edmonton the next week in the first night of back-to-backs is a no-brainer. Two weeks later, we have four games in seven nights, the last of which is against the Maple Leafs. It shouldn’t be hard to get him into a few games, let him get a rhythm, and have him play himself out of this funk or out of a job.

    Either way, rather than give up on a potentially useful piece, we give him the best chance to be valuable to us. It’s a low-risk proposition and good asset management.

  • Steampuck

    1. I think Lack’s numbers suggest a flaw in over-reliance on data. He looked fantastic during the first half of last season. And you can’t conclude his poor performance during the second half of the season was simply reversion to the norm. A rookie was run into the ground by a coach who hung him out to dry. And the team was hopelessly snake-bitten when it came to luck and injuries. To this end, I’m not sure even 1200 shots is going to tell us that much, because there’s a lot of noise in that data.

    2. 20/20 hindsight: I’m still not sold on the decision to pick up Miller. Small sample, etc., but Calgary is over-performing and Hiller has posted a .935 SV% to start the season. A cheaper goalie and better opportunity to platoon with Lack and save some $.

    3. 0/20 foresight: I don’t think you do anything just now. I think Lack is an asset, not an anchor. His three games—each on the backend of two games in two nights—have been against arguably the stiffest competition the Canucks have faced so far, which is maybe as much a damning indictment of the team’s abilities as a whole (he was absolutely shelled in Colorado, the weakest of the three—and looked okay in relief in Dallas). Looking ahead, Lack or Markstrom becomes expendable if we’re locked into Miller’s salary for two more years after this one, but I’m not anxious to move either one just at the moment. Maybe one or the other becomes part of a trade ahead of next year’s draft (or trade deadline depending on how the season unfolds). But I like Lack. And the players do, too. One of the few things Torts seems to have got more or less right was that the team liked and played for Lack and he provided a calming influence at times last year. I don’t think that’s disappeared (unless there’s something we don’t know about his hip—but then he wouldn’t be with the big team and Markstrom squirrelled away in Utica.

    The bottom line, though, is he needs to play more. Not just for his own development and confidence, but if the Canucks want a sniff at the playoffs, Miller needs to be spelled. 25-30 games for Lack is about right, and that will require getting him more involved. I don’t think we need to protect his minutes either. In spite of the poor showing thus far, his performance from last year would suggest that he is a capable NHL goalie.

  • BlazingSaitls

    I both like and dislike how the team is utilizing Eddie.

    What I like is that he has gotten to face tough opponents and will have every opportunity to show his worth against the top guys (Stamkos, Seguin, Duchene so far). However, it’s also tough to really boost his numbers when these games come as the tail end of the back-to-back, when the team is tired from playing the night before and travelling overnight to another city.

    What I’d do is, in non-doubleheader games, if they’re weaker competition I’d generally start Miller so he can mop up the points (unless he’s tired, in which case of course start Lack). However, if it’s a strong team in a non-doubleheader Eddie should start to really show what he can do.

    However, in case that it’s a doubleheader, I’d do the reverse: Eddie gets the 1st game behind the fresh team, then start Miller in the 2nd. That way, he can start raking up some wins as the guys in front of him are ready to go, and his value will go up, whether or not we want to trade him. Starting Miller in the 2nd would also keep him in top shape, since the guys in front wouldn’t be as effective and he’ll have to stand on his head, much like he may have to in the playoffs.

    That’s the best way to do it for both parties, IMO.