ST. LOUIS - It's official.
Eddie Lack will get his first start as a Flame this evening when Calgary faces off against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center. The Swede has an impressive 6-0-0 record, 1.63 GAA and a .938 save percentage against the Blues in his career.
"Obviously Smitty's been playing great," Lack said following the team's meeting this morning. "I've been just waiting for my chance here and today's the day so I'm excited. I've been feeling good in practice lately so I'm just going to go out there, play my game and have some fun."
For head coach Glen Gulutzan, the decision to give Lack the start was cemented after viewing him in practice over the past week and a half. The pair spent two seasons together in the Vancouver Canucks organization and Gulutzan knows when the netminder is at his peak.
During his time with the Canucks, Lack posted a 34-30-9 record and .917 save percentage - his best stint in his four-year NHL career.
"The one luxury (I) have is when you've spent two years with a guy, you know when his game is coming around. I thought in the Vancouver (pre-season) game, he still wasn't there the way I've seen him before.
"The last week, I can say he's been outstanding - probably the last 10 days he's been outstanding. He looks, to me, like the guy that I had in Vancouver."
Thus far, Lack has only played 12:02 of regular season action, relieving Mike Smith in the Flames' loss to the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 13 but that sparsity of playing time isn't a concern for Gulutzan. Lack has put in plenty of extra practice time to ensure he's ready for when he is called upon.
"You don't know how any game is going to go but the one thing that you do ... you look at track histories with guys," Gulutzan noted. "Eddie has been in these situations a lot. He's responded, in all my dealings with him.
"Looking at him now, I don't have any concerns. I know he's put in the work ... it's like homework or writing a test - when you put in the work, you're prepared and I think he's prepared for tonight."
A large part of the work Lack has put in has been on details to his game. After going through the pre-season, he and goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet have worked on areas of his game he felt weren't up to par during his exhibition play.
"The last couple, three weeks here I've been feeling really good," Lack said. "Me and (Sigalet) have been working on details and everything really good. In training camp, I felt there was a little bit of rust in my game and some light stuff I need to change. I changed it and I'm ready to go."
Tonight's game will be carried on Sportsnet 360 (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio) at 6:00 p.m. MT. CalgaryFlames.com will have plenty of pre and post-game content from St. Louis.