The Vancouver Canucks face the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarter-Final Wednesday night at Rogers Arena and excitement is in the air.
The players, coaches, management, staff and fans are jonesing for puck drop between these two western Canadian rivals, in what most are predicting will be a tight series.
The Canucks held an optional skate Wednesday morning to prepare; seven skaters took part, including Shawn Matthias, Bo Horvat and Luca Sbisa, alongside both Eddie Lack and Ryan Miller.
News of the day is coach Willie Desjardins confirming Lack starts Game 1 in net for the Canucks.
Lack said he found out on Monday he was getting the nod; Desjardins said Miller isn’t quite back to 100 per cent healthy and it wouldn’t be fair to him to or anyone to rush his return.
Coach also touched on having Richardson back and how excited he is for Game 1.BACK TO LACK
It’s no surprise Eddie Lack is Vancouver’s starting goaltender for Game 1, even if he has as many playoff games under his belt as you do. Lack was stellar for the Canucks down the stretch and to him, it’s just another game.
A game that can’t come quick enough, mind you.
“I haven’t played in six days, so I’m ready to get back on the ice,” said Lack. “I've been preparing for this all season, this is what we've been working towards.”
Lack said he expects a vibrant Rogers Arena come game time (he even flew his father in from Sweden to experience it) and he’ll be watching for those waving towels. Swing them with pride.
“I remember it a little bit from the Cup run, but being on the ice and seeing the towels waving before the game will be cool.”BO RARING TO GO
If you aren’t excited for Bo Horvat, you haven’t been following the Canucks close enough this season.
The 20-year-old, who wasn’t expected to make the team out of training camp, surprised everyone and is part of the reason the Canucks are in the playoffs.
He’s skilled, he’s smart and he’s stoked for Game 1.
"I've been dreaming about this since I was a kid. My first playoff game is something I'll always remember.”