In the last two years, this city and many of the team’s fans seem to have forgotten about a guy named Roberto Luongo. He went from a hero that lead Canada to the Gold Medal in 2010 and carried the team on a long playoff run in 2011 to being heckled off the ice in favour of Cory Schneider the following year. Is Cory Schneider a talented athlete and deserving of a bigger role? Yes, but he has yet to earn the respect that Luongo has more than earned from this city but has not been given in the last two years. Roberto deserves so much better than that Vancouver and I hope you join me in actually supporting Luongo this season!
Roberto Luongo was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks in the trade of Todd Bertuzzi with the Florida Panthers in June 2006. When Luongo joined the team, he brought with him a will to win [**note he posted 47 WINS in his first Vancouver season!]. In 747 career games, Luongo has amassed a 348-289-53 [Wins-Losses-OTL] record and 62 shutouts. Vancouver fans should take a closer look at his overall record: prior to joining the Canucks, he posted a 115-168-9 record and since joining the Canucks, he has posted a 233-121-44 record.
With Luongo, the team has made it to the playoffs EVERY year except one [2007-2008]. When he raises his level of play [2010-2011 in particular], it elevates the play of the entire team. Luongo may no longer be team captain but he is certainly still a leader on this team.
This season will be different for Vancouver and Roberto. Last year he came to camp expecting to be traded as it seemed the whole city had turned on him. He wasn’t traded last year and he wasn’t traded when when the season ended. It was a move that shocked many when the Canucks announced the Cory Schneider trade, but it is what is and it is time to accept the reality that Luongo is still #1. This year he comes to camp knowing that while there will still be a media frenzy, he will be the starter. Luongo will be looking to put up strong numbers proving to all those naysayers that he still is a top NHL starting goal-tender. If Luongo can put his best game on the ice for every game, the team plays well in front of him and this city actually supports him, anything could happen this season. It all comes down to consistency by the entire team, night in and night out through the 82 game schedule. Time will tell.
Here are some highlights to remind of just how awesome Luongo is! [Spoiler alert: many of these are against the Hawks…he has played some of his best games against Chicago.]
LUUUUUUUUUUUUUU robs the ever pesky Eager with this show stopper:
Bobby LUUUUUUU robs another Blackhawk for this highlight reel save!:
My favourite save of the 2010 Olympics happened in the Slovakia game:
Who says Luongo hates shootouts? [Probably everyone…BUT in this particular one, he was brilliant!]:
If you have any doubts that Luongo will report to camp, according to Torts, Luongo is more than ready to play focusing on what needs to be done on the ice and simply wants to play. I cannot wait to see #1 take back the starter reigns when the calendar turns to October! I have always and will always support Luongo.
As always, until next time, nuck said.
Oh and in case you missed it, CHRIS TANEV is FINALLY officially RE-SIGNED! The Canucks also re-signed Andrew Alberts to a one-year contract.