A year ago at this time the Canucks implosion of not making the playoffs, firing Mike Gillis, hiring Trevor Linden and canning Torts was like a series finale of the Geordie Shore on MTV. It’s the English version of the Jersey Shore and it’s way worse or actually way better if you love some drunken white trash reality shows.
This year the triumphant march back to the post-season has been relativly smooth. Of course there have been bad games and injuries, but it’s been a nice rise by the Canucks, with little drama.
Until last Friday, when Ryan Miller showed up in Winnipeg for some bizarre reason to practice with the team. It was a case of the six-million dollar man marking his territory in the blue crease. Lack played and let in a couple of howlers and the Jets won.
Fast forward a week. Ryan Miller is starting in goal versus the Oilers in the series finale tomorrow. The Canucks need a point to ensure home ice advantage in the series with Calgary. It’s not a huge deal, considering the ‘Nucks have been great on the road, but in most situations you want game seven in your barn.
If coach Willie D was hooked up to a lie detector, I’m sure he would admit, he would prefer to have Eddie Lack between the pipes. After the Manitoba melft down, Lack was stellar in a comeback 2-1 win against the Kings and he blanked Arizona 5-nil last night. In most situations when you post a shutout, you get the next start.
And this is where it gets cloudy. Ryan Miller was brought in by genetleman Jim Benning as the number one keeper at the pricey sum of six million dollars per, for three seasons. Lack makes five million dollars less this year.
Since Miller went down with the knee injury on February 22, Lack has brought the club down the stretch to the playoffs. He has a better save percentage and goals against average.
Best case scanrio for the team is Miller stinks the joint out against the awful Oilers, then it’s Eddie’s crease.
There is no doubt Lack will start at the Roj or the Saddledome in game one.
How long of a leash will he have?
Miller has been to the playoffs five times in his career. Going back to 2010, in his last three appearnces he has not not been out of the first round. The Blues did not re-sign him after an .897 save percentage in a six- game loss to Chicago last spring.
Lack is the future. He has earned the chance to start and play in the series. If he tanks, the American can come in.
It’s a long shot but tomorrow could be the final start in Ryan Millers Canucks career.