Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/21/13
Eddie Lack has gained the admiration and adoration of his teammates for a quirky and ongoing transformation to North American culture and smaller ice surfaces. The Vancouver Canucks backup goaltender has a wide-eyed and humorous take on everything. His NFL fantasy football team (Eddie’s Meatballs) his teasing Twitter one-liners and endless hours playing X-Box make you wonder if the 25-year-old Swede will always be considered just a gangly kid playing a man’s game. He likes to sleep a lot and smile a lot. Lack was beaten by a Marian Gaborik re-direction on the first shot he faced Sunday as the Canucks held a lopsided 13-2 edge in shots after one period. But their legs were heavy early they had to mix the lines and even managed to score a power-play goal. However they still fell 3-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets because they played a perimeter game and their 38-29 shot advantage was misleading. But Lack wasn't lacking. "Eddie gave us a chance and those saves on their 5-on-3 power play and they had a lot of their shots on the power plays" said coach John Tortorella. "He did his job." The Jackets ended a four-game losing streak and the Canucks fell to 2-1-1 on this revealing seven-game road trip because they wanted to score pretty goals. They didn't want to go where they needed to go and it forced Lack to not surrender a second goal with the game tied 1-1 in the third period. When R.J. Umberger took a long feed and got behind the lone defender in Chris Higgins before slipping the puck between the goalie's pads at 11:14 of the third period – followed by an empty-net goal by Ryan Johansen — it was hard to hang the loss on Lack. But he showed a serious side that many don't see. "If I want to win these games that's a save I've got to make" said a solemn Lack. "I actually thought he was going to go high. I have to make the game-winning saves like he did on the other side. They played their back-up too. It's important to win these games." The Canucks could have had a shot at victory had Higgins lifted his wrist shot higher with 50 seconds remaining and facing a one-goal deficit. But Curtis McElhinney got his right pad on the shot. "I thought it went in" said Higgins. "I missed my spot a bit a little bit too much toward the inside of the net but that's why you're out there in the last minute of the game — to score those goals. And I didn't. We've got to focus on getting a guy in front of the net. We made it a little bit too easy on them tonight." It was hard for Lack to get into any kind of a rhythm and it wasn't until a 14-save second period that he showed the promise the Canucks are banking on in the 15 starts he's projected to have this season. "I only had one save in the first and it was almost like: 'Come on give me a couple of shots'" he added. "A different kind of game for sure and it's something I have to deal with. I'm always thinking next shot and try not to focus on what has been and focus on the future and what I can handle." He handled a lot in the second period. It was a Blue Jackets 5-on-3 power play in the second period where Lack gathered himself. With a pair of weird delay-of-game penalties — Mike Santorelli for flipping the puck into the penalty box and Alex Edler not being ahead of his blueline when he slapped the puck off the far netting — Lack responded. He stopped Brandon Dubinsky at side of the net and then stretched and stuck out his right skate to thwart Cam Atkinson on a backhand deke. "I was just waiting him out and tried to get the leg up" said Lack.
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