April 05, 2012

Goalie Graveyard: The Dirt On Roberto Luongo

Goaltending controversy looms large in Vancouver, and right at the worst time - on the verge of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

In Tuesday's 5-4 OT win over Anaheim, the Canucks pulled starter Luongo after falling behind 4-2. Luongo let in a softie on the first goal, but was then hung out to dry by Vancouver's all too-frequent defensive zone breakdowns. Leave a NHLer wide open in the slot and you bet there is a high chance that puck is going to hit the twine.

But rather than boo the repeated terrible defensive zone play, some Canucks fans booed Luongo as he left the ice. Many Canucks fans welcomed Cory Schneider to the game with a loud ovation.

The goalie graveyard that is so famous in Vancouver is ready to pull Luongo in once and for all. Forget all the great seasons. Forget the Olympic gold medal. Forget the march to Stanley Cup finals where he won two games by shutout. Forget the fact that Luongo has been the team's MVP this season. Luongo has a propensity for bad goals now and again, and the graveyard is ready to bury him.

Canucks fans need to get a grip.

Yes, I understand Luongo has his shaky moments. Guess what - all goalies do, even the greatest of all time.

Case in point: Martin Brodeur in the 2003 Stanley Cup final. This may be the worst goal I've ever seen scored against any goaltender.

Even Patrick Roy has let in his fare share of bad goals. None more infamous than the "Statue of Liberty goal" in the 2002 Western Conference final.


My point is every goalie - even all time greats like Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy - lets in bad goals. Occasionally they let in real stinkers. Vancouver fans only criticize Luongo because they watch him night in and night out. But had they watched either Brodeur or Roy every night, they would realize even the best goalies have bad nights. And Luongo is one of the best goalies. There are about 20 other teams in the league that would take him in a heartbeat, salary cap issues aside.

The goalie graveyard in Vancouver is always trying to throw dirt on Roberto Luongo. Nothing short of a Stanley Cup championship can save him now. People tend to forget the bad moments if they can celebrate a championship. That certainly has been the case in New Jersey with Martin Brodeur and Montreal/Colorado with Patrick Roy.

Roberto Luongo will get that chance again this spring. If he falters at all, the Canucks will not hesitate to switch to Cory Schneider this year. Maybe that will drive Luongo to new heights. After all, Schneider is capable of playings so well that he never does give Luongo his net back.


Mike said...

As a goalie i agree, all goalies let in softies. But goalies like roy and marty let in a softie every once in a while but come up big in big games, luongo on the other hand has shown time and time again he is shakey and falls apart in high stress situations, personally i think luongo is a waste of time and the nucks should just invest in schneider.

tuxedoTshirt said...

Wow Mike. I guess this article was over your head.

Marty, Marty, Marty....
I bet that one still haunts him.

Mike said...

I think it might be my general distaste for the nucks and luongo... apologies to the edditor who I believe is a nucks fan XD