Flattened Lack causes shivers

 

Goaltending: Few anxious moments for newest backup Laurie as Eddie sent to canvas

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack winds up at the bottom of the pile along with Ducks right-winger Kyle Palmieri in the second period Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.
 

Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack winds up at the bottom of the pile along with Ducks right-winger Kyle Palmieri in the second period Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.

Photograph by: Associated Press, The Province

Eddie Lack provided a few anxious moments Sunday.

None of them had to do with the two goals as the Anaheim Ducks rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory over the Vancouver Canucks. They had to do with the backup goalie sprawled in his crease after Kyle Palmieri took a direct route to the net and ran him over in the second period. With Roberto Luongo sidelined from a similar collision with Dustin Brown on Saturday in Los Angeles and the Canucks forced to sign 43-year-old former minor-league stopper Rob Laurie to a one-day professional tryout contract to serve as the backup, there was a bit of added drama.

Especially when the TV camera panned the bench to see the general manager of goalie monkey.com, a web-based goalie equipment company, working the gum at the bench. After all, Laurie got the call at 2 p.m. for a 5 p.m. game and even though he served as an

emergency backup for the Ducks last season, this scenario to possibly enter the game was surreal.

"I figured the camera was aiming," chuckled Laurie, who has played in the CCHA, ECHL, AHL, WPHL, UHL and CHL and had an 11-year pro career. "I've watched those games and wondered what the guy was thinking on the bench. I remember a Canucks game when (Johan) Hedberg got hurt coming out to play the puck and the camera zoomed right in there (on PTO backup Chris Levesque). But the trainers weren't on the ice here. Maybe if they were, something crazy was going on."

As crazy as when his phone rang Sunday and he didn't initially get the Canucks' distress call while heading out to lunch with his sister.

"I knew right away something was up and it got my heart beating a little bit," added Laurie. "It was an exciting turnaround. I've skated with the Ducks, but today I felt a Canuck and I was rooting for us to win and it was a lot of fun."

Meanwhile, it was a scheduled start for Lack, but a second injury to Luongo this season has again placed the smiling Swede in the spotlight and perhaps put Luongo's roster spot with Team Canada for the 2014 Winter Olympics in some doubt if a further diagnosis reveals a long-term ailment. The Sochi roster is to be revealed Tuesday and Luongo was to be examined again Monday in Vancouver.

"I guess we just have to see what happens and if I'm back in the net Tuesday," Lack said of facing the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I'm just going to have to make the best of it. I have confidence in myself and it's a tough month coming up before the Olympic break."

Lack said he was just trying to catch his breath after the Palmieri collision. Which, of course, makes you wonder what if Lack got hurt after what Luongo endured. After making a right-pad save off Justin Williams, Brown deposited the rebound and also crashed into the out-stretched starter. Luongo stayed down for a few moments but played on.

"My foot got caught under me as he was accidentally running me over," Luongo said in his post-game scrum. "Luckily this time, the pain went away. That's a good game plan. You want to get in the other goalie's kitchen and go through the crease and put some pucks there and jam away. That's what we preach to our guys and they (Kings) are one of the best teams at doing that."

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis took issue with players purposely targeting goaltenders, who are defenceless and prone to injury in such collisions.

"It's not a surprise when players run a goalie - the goalie is going to get hurt," he said Sunday. "And it happened how many times last night (Saturday)? He managed to finish the game and sometimes the adrenalin gets you through certain things. He's not well enough to play tonight (Sunday)] and probably won't be for a little bit of time.

"It's frustrating. Goalies can't protect themselves and when you see it over and over again, it's a tactic and not a hockey play."

bkuzma@theprovince.com twitter.com/benkuzma

 
 
 
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Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack winds up at the bottom of the pile along with Ducks right-winger Kyle Palmieri in the second period Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.
 

Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack winds up at the bottom of the pile along with Ducks right-winger Kyle Palmieri in the second period Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.

Photograph by: Associated Press, The Province

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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