Fan Fuel | December 12, 2011, 9:54 am
BY TREVOR SMART AND JAMES HUNT - FAN FUEL BLOGGERS
THE CASE FOR KEEPING ROBERTO LUONGO - TREVOR SMART:
First of all, neither goalie should be traded away during the season. Both should be kept for another long playoff run. Secondly, if one is clearly underperforming, well, that makes the decision easy. But assuming both are playing well, then Cory Schneider is the one that needs to go.
The fragility of Luongo's mental composure is over-exaggerated. I'm not going to deny he has struggled in important games on occasion, primarily in the first two playoff series against Chicago. But how quickly fans forget all the times he has performed exceedingly well in a pressure-filled game: World Junior Championships, an Olympic Gold Medal game, and the bulk of ten playoff series.
To give an example, how about last year's game seven overtime victory against Chicago? He was the best player on the ice against his personal nemeses. No crumbling there. He had four shutouts in last year's playoffs, two of them in the Final. People are quick to blame Luongo for losing the series against Boston, but people are also quick to believe alien hoaxes. The fact is, Luongo singlehandedly won three games in the Final, pitching two shutouts, while the team in front of him failed to score more than eight goals all series.
But hey, I imagine most of you have plugged your ears by this point. You're set in your belief that Luongo "chokes" in the big game. So, rather than defend Luongo, I'll move on to arguing why trading Schneider simply makes more business sense.
Goalies, in general, don't have great trade value, but a young, up-and-coming goalie like Schneider will fetch a decent return for the Canucks. Luongo, due to his long contract, will not.
"Keep the best goalie," you say. But that's what the Canucks would be doing. Schneider is fantastic, but when Luongo is on his game, he is the better goalie. He may start slow, and we all cringe a bit when Chicago come town, but in terms of pure talent Luongo is the better goalie, and he has proven himself in this league.
When the time to make a decision arrives, Gillis would serve his organization better by trading Schneider for a good return, and showing his confidence in our former team captain.
THE CASE FOR KEEPING CORY SCHNEIDER - JAMES HUNT:
I think most would agree on is this much. When they are on, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider are both more than capable of stopping pucks with the very best of them in the the NHL regular season. That was proven last year and for the most part these two have picked it up again in this years regular season.
However, in this particular market, winning in the regular season is one thing, it is quite another when you are talking about winning in the playoffs and that is where the rubber meets the road for me.
The question is, do the Canucks and their fans want to spend another playoff year crossing their collective fingers in hopes that Roberto Luongo doesn't do his blowup act again during this year's playoffs or in future playoff runs.
Well, this particular fan doesn't.
Melting down one year is understandable, melting down the next is questionable, but doing it again for a third year running, that is one year too many for this Canuck lifer.
Putting aside contracts, player ages and trade value for one minute, the choice between these two players boils down to one thing for me.
Simply put, I believe the very best goaltenders in the world are the ones with the most mental toughness and year after year, when the chips have been down, Roberto Luongo has not proven he has the ability to handle the pressure of the NHL playoffs on a full time basis. He has done it at times, but in the NHL, you can't do that and expect to hoist a Cup.
Can Cory handle the pressure when the chips are down? Tough to say, but we have already been to the final table with Roberto Luongo and his bluff was called.
Sometimes ya just gotta go with your gut instinct and mine is saying, let's go all in with Schneids!
Edited by SCVRUSH, 12 December 2011 - 06:54 PM.