The Vancouver Canucks go from sideshow to smooth ride in goal

The Hockey News
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Luongo and Lack. It could have a nice ring to it.

Roberto Luongo is back to his old form of a few years ago when he led Canada to gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics and then brought the Canucks to within one game of Vancouver’s first Stanley Cup.

Meanwhile, Eddie Lack is proving he’s a legitimate NHL goaltender who can perform under pressure situations, as evidenced by the Canucks’ 3-2 shootout win over the Blackhawks, in Chicago, for Lack’s first shootout victory of his career.

Vancouver’s L.L. Cool Gs have been one of the NHL’s most consistent pairings in net all season long. Part of becoming a near perfect pairing is that each goalie has a clearly defined role: Luongo is the team’s No. 1 and Lack is comfortable being his backup.

More importantly, those roles, barring injury, aren’t going to change.

Luongo and Lack have worked out so well together thus far that getting top prospect Bo Horvat in the Cory Schneider deal at the draft seems like a bonus. The real win for GM Mike Gillis, the players and fans is the elimination of the circus-type atmosphere that had suffocated the organization for the better part of the past two seasons.

Coming into the season, though, questions marks did surround both goalies.

The divorce papers between the Canucks and Luongo were all but signed when Gillis did an about-face and dealt Schneider instead of ‘Bobby Lu’ as most people in the hockey world believed he would do. And after the deal, it still took some serious keister kissing on the part of the organization to woo Luongo back into the fold.

As for Lack, the Canucks had patiently developed him in the American League for three seasons. But he’s an undrafted free agent signee who was untested in the NHL coming into 2013-14. He was also coming off a serious hip injury last season that had limited him to just 13 games with the Chicago Wolves.

But the numbers don’t lie:

Luongo: 16-9-2, 2.26 GAA, .919 SP

Lack: 5-2-0, 1.98 GAA, .927 SP

Now that their goaltending distraction is finally done with, the Canucks can get back to concentrating on what matters most: bringing their starving city the Stanley Cup it has hungered for since 1970.

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