Sports Canucks

Team D deserves some credit for Eddie Lack’s stats 0

By Guts McTavish, 24 hours Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack (31) and defenseman Dan Hamhuis (2) celebrate a win over the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-2. Mar 23, 2014; Vancouver, B.C. (Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack (31) and defenseman Dan Hamhuis (2) celebrate a win over the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-2. Mar 23, 2014; Vancouver, B.C. (Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

I played some golf recently in the gorgeous city of Kamloops and quickly learned two things.

One, my days of breaking 80 are long over, and two, good God am I out of shape.

I'm currently at the rents-power-cart-at-the-driving-range stage.

Now I promise this column will not end with some cheesy joke about the Vancouver Canucks booking tee-off times. I'll leave that business to Leafs Nation.

After a thorough autopsy of my scorecard, I realized I needed to rebuild my golf swing from the ground up. No part of my game could escape criticism after that effort.

OK, maybe this is just as cheesy, but this is the exact dilemma now facing the Canucks. There is no part of their game above criticism. And yes, that includes goaltending.

As great a story as Eddie Lack has been, his numbers certainly aren't hurt by the trend in today's NHL — team defence. Watching Team Canada steamroll through the competition at the Olympics, flexing team D the entire way, seems to also be the model for clubs in the NHL.

As predicted in this column a few weeks back, Canucks GM Mike Gillis is now propping up his rookie netminder, calling him a “special player."

Make no mistake, Eddie has performed as well as anyone could have hoped for, but it just seems like his GM's kudos are more about making the loss of both Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo a little more palatable.

The crazy thing is that based on stats alone, Gillis can actually sell his bosses that he's found his goaltender of the future and, at the same time, freed up a ton of dough.

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