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Botchford: The Stork gets the start, Lu gets the shaft


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http://www.theprovince.com/touch/story.html?id=9568458

BY JASON BOTCHFORD, THE PROVINCE MARCH 1, 2014

BC PLACE — Roberto Luongo had always wanted to play in an outdoor game.

He can at least take solace then that BC Place roof will likely be closed.

That’s because Luongo, if he’s not hurt, is getting the shaft.

At risk of coming off as hyperbolic, here we go again.

In the most marquee game of the Canucks’ season, the backup will start.

Head coach John Tortorella will ride his “hot” hand, even if Eddie Lack wasn’t all that hot against the Minnesota Wild Friday, a game Lack should have lost in regulation if not for one of the worst officiating calls of the season.

Lack was fine in the 2-1 shootout loss, but the Wild didn’t test him much at all after the first eight minutes.

Even so, Luongo, who hasn’t played an NHL game since Feb. 8, will start the Heritage Classic the same way he’s started the past two games — on the bench.

It’s a short-sighted, tone-deaf call and needlessly stirred up the emotional baggage which led Luongo to ask for a trade out of Vancouver two years ago.

When asked about entering another yet battle over his turf, this time with Lack, Luongo said:

“I’m just here to play, man. I don’t want to start going through this whole thing again.”

Unfortunately, stoking goalie controversy fires is out of his control.

After a long family skate with this three-year-old son Gianni, Luongo asked to take some time behind a curtained-off part of the dressing room before meeting his press obligations.

A few minutes later, a dispirited Luongo met with the media, and was asked what the start would have meant.

“I’ve always to play in an outdoor game,” he said. “I was excited when I saw we got one this year.

“I was looking forward to it.”

The Canucks have quite the knack for igniting their own tire fires.

It’s obvious to anyone who has spent ten minutes with Luongo that a game like this would carry with it unique emotional meaning. It makes no sense to tear it away from him.

Even if you think Lack has played better this season, Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes is the more important start for the standings.

This was the more special moment. And given everything Luongo has given the organization, and given how professional he was enduring the impossible Cory Schneider hole they put him in, it was an easy moment to give him.

Of course, Lack has made a strong case to get more playing time. He’s started 20 games has a 2.05 GAA and a .925 save percentage.

That’s better right now than Luongo’s 2.38 GAA and .917 save percentage over 42 starts. There’s nothing wrong with those numbers.

Luongo has played just one game since that Feb. 8 loss to the Leafs, and that was a cupcake against the Austrians in Russia.

He is going to have to play sometime, and the Heritage Classic seemed the obvious, safest choice.

“Whenever I’m called upon I’ll be ready,” Luongo said. “It’s been tough with the time change. I haven’t been feeling super energized. But the past couple of days I’ve been feeling back to normal.

“The only way you can see if you’re ready or not is to play.”

If Lack does play well Sunday, it’s easy to see him getting Tuesday’s start. If he plays well Tuesday, it’s easy to see him getting next Thursday’s start. And so on.

The Canucks and Luongo have long had this feel of an old, unhappy married couple stuck together because circumstances just won’t let them part ways.

Luongo got his jab in Wednesday with his zinger about Ryan Kesler. He said then, he told Kesler whether he wants out or not, he’s not going anywhere.

Trade Luongo?

They’ve tried and they can’t. If there’s a goalie market in the NHL, you need binoculars to see it.

And even if there was one, Luongo is about to turn 35 years old, has eight years remaining on a contract that carries with it a cap recapture penalty at the end.

Even if Luongo did want out again this offseason, what options are there for a team that doesn’t want to buy him out?

As he said about Kesler, we know how this script goes. He isn’t going anywhere.

And that’s why emotions matter, and why Canucks should be trying to find ways to play nice with their multi-million dollar star.

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Lu deserved the game but Botch is still an idiot...amazing how people who are baffoons get paid in society today

Botch

Snookie

Rob Ford going to the oscars lol

So i should say stupid shyte, make a fool of myself, and snort coke and publicize it and I too can be a celebrity lol

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http://www.theprovin...html?id=9568458

Head coach John Tortorella will ride his "hot" hand, even if Eddie Lack wasn't all that hot against the Minnesota Wild Friday, a game Lack should have lost in regulation if not for one of the worst officiating calls of the season.

Lack was fine in the 2-1 shootout loss, but the Wild didn't test him much at all after the first eight minutes.

What a load of BS by Botchford.

We don't know how the game would have turned out had that goal counted. For all we know, the Wild wouldn't have had that power play.

Lack stopped 6 straight players in the shootout, don't know how much better a guy can play in goal.

Nothing against Luongo, Lack has played well enough to get another start. If Roberto is traded, so be it, just please let it be for someone who can help the Canucks score more than one goal per game.

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Can someone explain to me in a clear concise way how Luongo "deserved this game"?

If Luongo had his way he'd be 5000km away playing in Florida right now.

It's great that he's being a professional through this whole thing (he is paid to be one after all), but does he really have a choice?

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