So when you were saying he isn't the goaltender he was, you meant he isn't the goalie he was last year?
I don't entirely agree with you. I still think Luongo played more deeply in his net last year than he had in the past, particularly when the opposition has possession in Vancouver's zone. I think Luongo reverted slightly - he didn't play as consistently deep as Melanson seemed to have him the year before, left his net and challenged slightly more (as he had in the past)) particularly on the rush, but I think he was looking for more of a balance/hybrid - and he also simply wasn't playing as much - as Schneider earned and got more starts than the year before, something that doesn't seem to suit Luongo's game. You can argue that Melanson improved his game, but he had a .931 sv % in a season in Florida, and in 2006/7 he may not have posted his best sv %, but was probably as dominant as ever, particularly when the playoffs rolled around.
There are things that frustrate me about his game - I agree that he over-reacts at times, gets himself out of position when he doesn't necessarily have to, and gives himself no real chance to recover on some plays (things I conversely love about Schneider's to this point - his technical efficiency and poise). But as sting pointed out, if you watch any goaltender over a long enough period of time, they all have vulnerabilities, tendencies, bad games, periods of inconsistency... Imo Luongo is better and more consistent than he gets credit for. I get somewhat annoyed by the tendency in Vancouver to never stop complaining, where nothing is ever good enough, where the irony of the sense of entitlement to a Cup is undermined by such fickle loyalty.
I.ve, personally been a fan of the Canucks since I was old enough to understand hockey. I,ve cheered for them through all the years of disappointment and remain a devoted fan to this day. My loyalty is anything but fickle.
Now, back to the issue at hand. Maybe fans are a bit critical of our team but, to me, this just emphasizes the love we have for our Canucks. One thing players have to know is that hockey in BC is almost a religion of it's own. We want so badly for them to win that sometimes their short comings over shadow their successes.
There is little question that we have the best team Vancouver management has been able to assemble and I feel that a couple of key additions will put us over the top. To me, our biggest needs are a winger to bring our second line into the elite category and provide consistent second line offense and a big, " stay at home," defenseman that provides stability in the defensive zone and can be counted on to police the front of the net, thus limiting second chances.
To make it perfectly clear, I do not place all the blame on goaltending. The team as whole needs to take responsibility for it's inability to rise to the occasion and achieve it,s ulimate goal; a Stanley Cup. That being said, however, we do have an abundance of assets in goal and could use one to acquire the needed pieces.
I believe both Schneids and Lou can get us there and it is irrelevant as to which one is kept. The key may lie in the length of the lock out. With NHL players sitting, waiting for a new CBA to be made, it is the AHLers that get a chance to shine. Eddie Lack is proving himself to be quite a good goaltender and is only getting better. This could be of significance because it may provide more options for Gillis to explore. If Lack puts together great games in Chicago, MG may become more accepting to offers for Schneider. This would be key as Schneider would bring better returns and open doors for more bidding wars. A play for a Bobby Ryan may become a possibility.
I believe Lou can get us there. It's whether or not the fans will accept him back in the number one role. I know the fans do not run the team, but in a way they kind of assist in decisions. No player wants to be booedon a nightly basis and be kept under a microscope on a nightly basis. The pressure becomes immense and sooner or later it becomes too much. I believe this is what has happened to Lou. I say we get behind this team no matter what the circumstances and give them our full support.