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Debunking The Roberto Luongo Myths


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#1 JustNazzy

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:23 AM

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I enjoyed reading this and thought I would share.
https://thehockeywri...o-luongo-myths/


Debunking the Roberto Luongo Myths

Added by Andrew Eide on April 28, 2012.

After the Vancouver Canucks were shown the door by the Los Angeles Kings they held their end of the year media scrum, and since then have continued to make NHL news. At that media event goalie Roberto Luongo let it be known that he would be willing to waive his no trade clauseif the Canucks wanted to go in that direction. It’s not often that one of the biggest names in the NHL appears to be headed for the trading block, and the reaction was as to be expected.
Things escalated during the week as Nick Kypreos reported via his twitter accountthat Luongo had in fact asked for a trade, and that he had given the Canucks a list of teams. General Manager Mike Gillis denied thatthe next day. Despite that fact, fans in Vancouver, and places like Toronto, quickly started putting together trade ideas, and weighing the pros and cons of moving the goaltender.
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Is this an elite goalie?
Whether you are a fan of the Canucks or not, you most likely have an opinion on Roberto Luongo. He is one of the most enigmatic players in the NHL, and along with that several narratives, or myths, have been hurled at us about him. These Luongo myths are sure to be discussed in every article about him, discussed on sports radio, message boards and water coolers around the league.
You know these myths. They say that Luongo is not elite, that he chokes at the biggest moments in the playoffs, that Canada won that gold medal in spite of him, and that he can’t handle media pressure. Are these things actually true?
Let’s try to wade through the rhetoric and find some truths. It could get messy so break out your favorite hip waders. You know, the ones you have to put on when Brad Marchand defends his diving.
Roberto Luongo is not an elite goaltender
This one is a popular Luongo myth. The narrative is that Luongo plays for a good team and benefits from that, therefore making him overrated, or not among the elite goaltenders in the NHL. People will claim this despite his Vezina nominations, Hart nomination and regular season, Olympic, and playoff success.
Luongo’s career numbers show him to have a .919 save percentage and a 2.52 goals against average. How does that compare? Luongo has a better career save percentage than four-time Vezina winner Martin Brodeur (.913), and has not had the luxury of playing behind the Devils trap in the 90’s. Luongo’s career save percentage and goals against numbers are also better than three-time Vezina winner Patrick Roy (.910 and 2.54)
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Roberto Luongo has better numbers than Patrick Roy
Brodeur and Roy are widely considered two of the greatest goaltenders ever to play, and Luongo’s numbers are right in their wheel-houses. Despite this, people will still tell you he’s not elite.
Is Roberto Luongo the greatest goaltender ever? No. Is he the best right now? Probably not, but to say he’s not in the class that would be considered ‘elite’ seems hard to back up.
Roberto Luongo is a playoff choker
This mantra surprisingly is the loudest in British Columbia, as Canucks fans have often laid every and any Vancouver defeat at the skates of Luongo. This is understandable to a degree. Fans are passionate and until they see their team on the bad end of a handshake line believe their team is unbeatable. When that dream is shattered they have to point a finger somewhere.
In hockey, that finger gets aimed at the goaltender. It’s easier for some Canucks fans to blame Luongo than to admit that the team has not had the scoring or defensive depth they had believed. It’s easy to point to Luongo because you see the puck go by him. If he only was better he’d stop those pucks right?
Is Luongo a playoff choker?
He has never lost a first round playoff series, and despite some blow ups in Boston last year, got his team to within one win of the Stanley Cup despite his team providing him with no scoring support.
Luongo’s playoff numbers are almost identical to his regular season numbers. He has a career .916 playoff save percentage and 2.53 goals against average. If anything, Roberto Luongo is consistent so the idea he’s only good in the regular season just does not have any facts to support it. This myth lives on because of a couple of high-profile flameouts against Boston and Chicago. Everyone saw those games and decided that, despite the small sample size, Luongo was no good when it mattered most.
Those games should not be totally discounted, but also do not tell the entire Luongo playoff story.
It hardly matters more than in a Game 7 during the playoffs, and Roberto Luongo has played in three of these high pressure games. He is 2-1 in those and has posted a save percentage of .931, which is above his career high. The one Game 7 he lost was a 4-0 loss to Boston where he gave up three goals and the Canucks could not score any. Hardly the profile of a big game choker right?
The Olympics
It would be hard to find many bigger pressure situations than representing your home country at the Olympics being played in your home country, and in the arena you play your regular season home games in. Luongo led the Canadians to the gold medal in 2010, but many people will tell you that Canada won in spite of him.
After all, the Canadian roster was epic, and the way people talk about it, a bucket with a goal stick taped to it could have backstopped that team. Luongo posted a miniscule 1.76 goals against average in that tournament, but still is criticized for letting Zach Parise tie the gold medal game with 23 seconds left.
Never mind that Luongo stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced that afternoon against a pretty stocked Team USA. If Team Canada’s defense was so unbeatable how did they give up so many shots? Let’s take a look at the Parise goal to see if Luongo choked that goal away.



The U.S. had the extra skater, and after making a pretty good save on a deflected shot, Luongo could not stop Parise’s rebound shot and the game was tied. People who blame Luongo always fail to mention the first save and how good it was and they also fail to mention how Shea Weber and Scott Niedermayer ignored Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner all alone in front of the net.
So Luongo is a choker because he could not keep two guys, who were un-checked, from scoring off a rebound of a deflected shot. Seems like that is a pretty harsh standard. The same people who claim he should not get credit for the gold will quickly mention that American goalie Ryan Miller outplayed him. This despite the weak goal Miller allowed in overtime to Sidney Crosby that gave the Canadians the gold.
Roberto Luongo can’t handle the media pressure in Vancouver
The media market in Vancouver is one of the toughest ones to play in front of in the NHL. There is a lot of it, and they will nit pick every move the team makes. There is constant criticism of the Canucks by their home scribes and fans. As the trade speculation for Luongo has heated up many have claimed that if he can’t handle the Vancouver heat how will he fare in Toronto where it is even more intense.
This myth is a confusing one. Luongo is a pretty laid back guy, aloof at times, and has an often misunderstood sense of humor. Luongo has never shown that he can not handle the media scrutiny in Vancouver. After the Canucks were bounced out of the playoffs by the Chicago Blackhawks for the second straight year, Luongo took the lion share of the blame by both the media and a very vocal portion of the fan base. He crumbled to that pressure so much by having his best year he’s ever had, garnering a Vezina nomination and leading the Canucks to their best season ever.
That pressure sure did get to him.
Take a look at this bit he did for TSN a couple of years ago where he poked fun at himself. Does this look like a guy who is fragile and crumbles under media scrutiny?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw1vJfCn-ko&feature=player_embedded

The tea leaves suggest that Roberto Luongo’s time in Vancouver may be coming to an end as they look to get younger with Cory Schneider, but that does not mean that he has no trade value, or that nobody will want ‘a fragile, over-rated, not elite’ goaltender. There are teams that would love to have the ‘problems’ that the Canucks have had with Roberto Luongo in net.
As the summer heats up and these myths start popping up more and more, take a moment and really think about it. Just because perception becomes reality does not mean that it is accurate.

Edited by JustNazzy, 29 April 2012 - 05:27 AM.

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#2 NexusRift

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:47 AM

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I enjoyed reading that too. Thank you.

I've been a Lou fan since his NHL debut and even before when he was a backstop for the World Juniors in '99. When we got him in 2006 needless to say, I was extremely pleased.

It's easy to forget the positive aspects and the many successes he accomplished during his career and while being a Canuck. It's sad to hear and see him go through this scrutiny. Not deserved to be sure. I'd like him to remain a Canuck, but it's obvious that the peanut gallery has already layed him out to dry. Bummer.
Go Canucks Go!!! :towel:
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#3 briana

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:06 AM

This athlete with all the criticism has accomplished so much..In his Junior career..as a starter at won 2 Presidents Cups with 2 different teams. 1999 for Team Canada Junior lost in overtime 2-1 to Russia..getting peppered for 40+ shots.(no offence on that team either). Won Gold at 2 World Championships for Canada..Won the World Cup with Brodeur.(playing only the semi final)
The Olympic Gold ..and you know what if Vigneault won the Jack Adams his first year..he can thank Luongo.Not so bad for a curriculum vitae...don t forget he played for a Florida team where 2 years in a row he beat his own record for shots received in a year.
The Canucks will remember him as one of the great ones..
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#4 AY89

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:10 AM

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How about the fact that he didn't give the team a chance to win in Boston? Especially in game 6 when the team came out strong...he allows 3 weak goals in a span of just over 3 minutes. How about when he nearly blew the 3-0 series lead against Chicago? I've lost count of the number of times he's been lit up in the playoffs. If he allows 1-2 bad goals the floodgates open.

He's either very good or very bad. You don't know which one you'll get each night. He's great as a regular season goalie, but unreliable for the playoffs
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#5 Thirteen

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:33 AM

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How about the fact that he didn't give the team a chance to win in Boston? Especially in game 6 when the team came out strong...he allows 3 weak goals in a span of just over 3 minutes. How about when he nearly blew the 3-0 series lead against Chicago? I've lost count of the number of times he's been lit up in the playoffs. If he allows 1-2 bad goals the floodgates open.

He's either very good or very bad. You don't know which one you'll get each night. He's great as a regular season goalie, but unreliable for the playoffs


Did you not read or just assume then post?

It mentioned those TWO games. As far as I'm concerned this is a team effort. He had no help in Game 5 until Lappy scored his fluke goal. Canucks were lucky to see Game 7 with the offense cold and defense weak.

We could easily blame leadership... Why didn't anyone step up?

Could easily point our fingers to the 12M Twins who also didn't show up but everyone only talks about Luongo... Twins must be happy Luongo carried them for so long and now they get the credit while he is 2 steps from the airport.

It's old playing the blame game. Get over it lol
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#6 Blacklabel

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:33 AM

How about the fact that he didn't give the team a chance to win in Boston? Especially in game 6 when the team came out strong...he allows 3 weak goals in a span of just over 3 minutes. How about when he nearly blew the 3-0 series lead against Chicago? I've lost count of the number of times he's been lit up in the playoffs. If he allows 1-2 bad goals the floodgates open.

He's either very good or very bad. You don't know which one you'll get each night. He's great as a regular season goalie, but unreliable for the playoffs



Lol you're actually blaming the hawks comeback on him? That was the team buddy.
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#7 votrechien

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:42 AM

Or the deciding game against Anaheim where he let the OT goal in when he was distracted by Edler.
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#8 quietboy2005

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:48 AM

Thanks for this artical. I've always been a Roberto Luongo fan and he's my favourite Canuck. It would be sad to see him go if he did. It's typical of fickle Canuck fans to always blame Luongo or any other starting goalie that plays for the Canucks when things go wrong.

Most Canuck fans are so fickle that Spike rated Canuck fans as the 5th most annoying fans in their poll. I'm surprised at that. Canuck fans should be No 1 in this poll.
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#9 SukhKular

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:01 AM

Great article! People in Vancouver don't know what they have until it's gone.
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I'm saying Aladeen a lot because http://forum.canucks...dpost__10922428

I bet when Schneider turns 38, he will have broken all of Luongo's records.


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#10 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:07 AM

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The 2007 Luongo: He was spectacular. One of the best ever. Got robbed of a Vezina. Etc.

He also had a team in front of him that play the same way the Coyotes, Kings, Preds and Rangers play today.

All those teams have oustanding goalies as well.

So you have to wonder if Luongo's numbers would improve if he played behind that system again. And the answer is yes, sort of.

While it should be noted that his best season as a Canuck came when they played ultra-boring hockey, it should also be noted that his best season ever came when he was a Panther, who frequently allowed 50+ shots a game.

He was amazing as a Panther and as a Canuck, UNTIL HE RIPPED UP HIS GROIN. Ever since that fateful morning in Pittsburgh he hasn't been the same, folks. His reaction time is slower. His side-to-side is slower. His five hole is open longer. He flops a lot. All of these things point to a lingering groin problem. And a lot of declining goaltenders have one.

Luongo is an elite goaltender? Well, define elite? He isn't even the best one on his team anymore, so how can he be labelled 'elite' among his league-wide peers?

I've been a Luongo supporter ever since he got here, but i cannot deny that his game has regressed. Partially due to a system change. But mainly due to that ripped groin.

But should we trade him? I dunno. First of all Gillis said he'd never approach a player about waiving his ntc. So it'll be up to Lu. Fine.

My worry is that Lu is still capable of at least one top-notch season and playoff run. If we trade him and he wins a cup immediately after, we'll continue looking like fools. It's a risk to consider.

But you have to think that Aquilini is torn here. Luongo is his boy. Or rather, was his boy. Interested to know what the opinion is now. But he, like the rest of us, has got to be shaking his head at the inconsistency not becoming of a so-called franchise goaltender. Cheers.


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"When more players develop a book on Schneider, we may see him come back to earth as well."
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#11 poetica

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:25 AM

Great article! Thanks for posting it.
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Go, Canucks, Go!
Every single one of them.

Thanks for the memories, Luo! :'(

#12 Ugli Fruit

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:37 AM

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How about the fact that he didn't give the team a chance to win in Boston? Especially in game 6 when the team came out strong...he allows 3 weak goals in a span of just over 3 minutes. How about when he nearly blew the 3-0 series lead against Chicago? I've lost count of the number of times he's been lit up in the playoffs. If he allows 1-2 bad goals the floodgates open.

He's either very good or very bad. You don't know which one you'll get each night. He's great as a regular season goalie, but unreliable for the playoffs


You are the epitome of fail.
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Formerly known as LordofBrussels

There we have it folks, we have literally blamed everyone for everything at this point


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#13 TotesMagotes

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:00 AM

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I don't think there is any question that Luongo is an elite goalie.

Its just that peoples expectations in this city are through the roof.

No offense??? BLAME GOALIE!!!
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#14 yes we can nucks

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:12 AM

My 'favourite' myth from Lu bashers is 'he gives up too many soft goals'. Do they ever watch other games besides the Canucks', or even just the highlights? Soft goals happen in almost every game to even the elite goalies. It just seems like Lu lets in a lot because we see him more often. Ditto the comment that he is always 'flopping around'.
Just look at the highlights of the first game between Nashville and Phoenix with Rinne and Smith in net (both great goalies). You'll see some flopping around and classify most of those goals as 'soft'. Keep watching the playoffs with all the hot goalies playing and you'll see that soft goals are common. How about giving some credit to the world class players shooting at them?
If Lu is worse than other goalies in this respect (soft goals, flopping) he doesn't achieve what he has in his career.
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#15 beer&meat

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:23 AM

This was a good read, and full of FACTS!
It's funny how people complain about stuff without knowing facts, another good myth is that Luongo is always out of position, yet last year everyone thought Tim Thomas was a god.....that man is out of position more than any other netminder in the league and is constantly scrambling to make saves.
People are just clueless and IMO TOMaplelaughs hit the nail on the head when he said "When more players develop a book on Schneider, we may see him come back to earth as well."
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#16 pimpcurtly

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:24 AM

Great article! Thanks for posting, OP.

And people still bash the guy. :rolleyes:

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#17 DIBdaQUIB

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:34 AM

Did you not read or just assume then post?

It mentioned those TWO games. As far as I'm concerned this is a team effort. He had no help in Game 5 until Lappy scored his fluke goal. Canucks were lucky to see Game 7 with the offense cold and defense weak.

We could easily blame leadership... Why didn't anyone step up?

Could easily point our fingers to the 12M Twins who also didn't show up but everyone only talks about Luongo... Twins must be happy Luongo carried them for so long and now they get the credit while he is 2 steps from the airport.

It's old playing the blame game. Get over it lol


I agree the twins for the most part get a free ride despite not showing up for almost every playoff game this team has played in teh last 2 years.

Even so, the meltdowns against Chicago forced the team to play 3 additional hard and emotional games that caught up to them later against Boston. ame 6 in Boston was the turnigng point in that series as the team was responding and Lu fumbled the ball big time. Lu showed up for 3 of the 7 games....Thomas showed up for all 7.

Lu's stats are consistent but it is the intangible of playoff performer thatn has eluded him. Grant Fuhr had brutal regular season numbers and would let in some stinkers but (and it's a big but) when it counted and the team needed him to hold them in or shut the door, he became unbeatable.

Based on stats, Fuhr does nto deserve any mention as a NHL gaolie. Based on what he accomplished, he was one of the best. But Roy and Brodeur similarly have delivered the kind of performances that won cups. THey were able to elevate their game when it mattered most Lu has not and neither have the twins. Perhaps this fact more than ny other explains why the Nucks are coming up short. Our #1 goalie and our #1 offensive line can't get it done in teh playoff environment.

Stats arent everything.
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#18 17's heart&hustle

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:53 AM

The 2007 Luongo: He was spectacular. One of the best ever. Got robbed of a Vezina. Etc.

He also had a team in front of him that play the same way the Coyotes, Kings, Preds and Rangers play today.

All those teams have oustanding goalies as well.

So you have to wonder if Luongo's numbers would improve if he played behind that system again. And the answer is yes, sort of.

While it should be noted that his best season as a Canuck came when they played ultra-boring hockey, it should also be noted that his best season ever came when he was a Panther, who frequently allowed 50+ shots a game.

He was amazing as a Panther and as a Canuck, UNTIL HE RIPPED UP HIS GROIN. Ever since that fateful morning in Pittsburgh he hasn't been the same, folks. His reaction time is slower. His side-to-side is slower. His five hole is open longer. He flops a lot. All of these things point to a lingering groin problem. And a lot of declining goaltenders have one.

Luongo is an elite goaltender? Well, define elite? He isn't even the best one on his team anymore, so how can he be labelled 'elite' among his league-wide peers?

I've been a Luongo supporter ever since he got here, but i cannot deny that his game has regressed. Partially due to a system change. But mainly due to that ripped groin.

But should we trade him? I dunno. First of all Gillis said he'd never approach a player about waiving his ntc. So it'll be up to Lu. Fine.

My worry is that Lu is still capable of at least one top-notch season and playoff run. If we trade him and he wins a cup immediately after, we'll continue looking like fools. It's a risk to consider.

But you have to think that Aquilini is torn here. Luongo is his boy. Or rather, was his boy. Interested to know what the opinion is now. But he, like the rest of us, has got to be shaking his head at the inconsistency not becoming of a so-called franchise goaltender. Cheers.


TOML

"When more players develop a book on Schneider, we may see him come back to earth as well."


100% agree with this post, a lot of people on CDC cant seem to take off Canucks blurred fan vision and see a situation for what it is. Luongo tore his adductor muscle in his groin, unless you have had a similar injury you dont fully understand what that means and how that effects you. Its a little something called science and the main reason why Lou isnt the same goalie as he was in 07.

Although what I dont like about Lou is that he has said before that he doesn't train over summer, which has me doubting how diligent he was with his groin rehab over that year.

Personally I am on the Schneider train because he seems to have a better work ethic, and a much more likeable personality.

As for the 2nd bolded part, I think the style that Schneider plays (ie positionally sounds, quick and agile) makes it much more difficult for players to get a book on him.

Schneider was asked in an interview i saw which goalies in the league he models himself after, and his answer was Mike Smith and Jon Quick.
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#19 Rounoush

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:47 AM

It's gonna suck whomever goes but that's the hockey business.
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#20 Forsy

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:54 AM

The trading of luongo/naming Schneider our new starting goalie, is all about the fact that Luongo has not been clutch enough and consistent during the playoffs for the Canucks (not talking about Team Canada), because of several bad games involving 4+ goals let in.

I wouldn't say he's a playoff choker, I wouldn't say he's not an elite goaltender, I would just say that Schneider is the better goalie now and at a lower cap hit - which is an important aspect in the salary cap world. At this point, the team needs a goaltender that is more consistent, with less 4+ or more goals allowed in important games. Not to mention that allowing bad goals, even in a 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-2 game loss which doesn't hurt his GAA, shows that stats do not show the issues the team has with the perceived luongo's inconsistent goaltending.

Look at MAF, he has won a cup, but if continues his play as he did during the first round of Philly vs Pitts, he too will be considered inconsistent, and not clutch enough. It has nothing to do with stats, or past historical achievements, and more to do with what will give the team the best chance, and will NOT deflate the team because of bad, uselessly allowed goals that are let in by your goaltender.

Luongo is an elite goaltender - but we're here to put out a team with the best chance to win, not hold on to players because of their accolades. He must be traded, Schneider will start - if he cannot cut it, he will be traded and a 3rd goalie will be obtained to start for the Vancouver Canucks. It's that simple.
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#21 Milk Hot Dog

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:07 PM

I was kind of shocked that people were not irrationally blaming him for the 1st round exist. People were finally seeing that it was the players & their mistakes in front of him that were making him look weak. He carried this team all season & still looked like he had the physical/mental strength to continue a long run himself. No doubt about it.
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#22 wrath_jason

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:18 PM

What a great article. Still, Cory is the man of future; Luongo, of the past
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#23 wai_lai416

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:28 PM

I was kind of shocked that people were not irrationally blaming him for the 1st round exist. People were finally seeing that it was the players & their mistakes in front of him that were making him look weak. He carried this team all season & still looked like he had the physical/mental strength to continue a long run himself. No doubt about it.


they aren't? i thought Luongo was the reason why we lost the first 2 game!!!!!
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#24 Mustapha

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:30 PM

*
POPULAR

Roberto Luongo has better numbers than Patrick Roy


Luongo isn't fit to shine Patrick's shoes, numbers or not.

To infer that the two are similar in dominance borders on absolute delusion.
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What are you talking about? The Flames are one of the teams that gets good value contracts


#25 Dasein

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

One of the greatest to play the game when all is said and done. All he needs is a Cup to be a shoo-in for the HHOF.
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Athletes today are scared to make Muhammad Ali Statements.


#26 RBCanucks

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:55 PM

I truly believe Lu is an elite goaltender with an unfair amount of criticism but I think the relationship between the Canucks and Luongo is damaged beyond repair. I admit that I think Corey Schneider is the future of this franchise but I will really miss Lu if he decides to leave. As a Toronto-area Canuck fan I wouldn't mind seeing him wear a Leafs jersey but somehow I doubt it will be the same. I wish him all the best and really hope he and the Canuck organization can part on good terms.
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#27 Caboose

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:21 PM

Stats don't stop pucks.
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iM9vOuM.jpg

 


#28 La Mauviette75

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:18 PM

One of the greatest to play the game when all is said and done. All he needs is a Cup to be a shoo-in for the HHOF.


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O Ville Lumière, Sens la chaleur, de notre coeur

#29 cmpunk

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:20 PM

That article sums everything up exactly...There are no arguments against those points. But for some people, nothing will change and to them Lu will always be disliked.
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Credit to Vintage Canuck

#30 cmpunk

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

Luongo isn't fit to shine Patrick's shoes, numbers or not.

To infer that the two are similar in dominance borders on absolute delusion.


Its all about stats. Numbers don't lie....For ppl like, you stats only matter when you want them too.
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Credit to Vintage Canuck




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