Player Profile: #1 Roberto Luongo

Today's Profile: Roberto Luongo

Today’s Profile: Roberto Luongo

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.

#LUUUUUUUUUU #heartofacanuck

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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.

Old news is still news right?

Old news is still news right? That how it appears this NHL off-season. It has been very quiet in the hockey world as of late with the exception of the endless re-living of the Gretzky trade that happened 25 years ago.

Yes that trade was and still is a major deal but it happened 25 years ago. Yes it forever changed the game when the Oilers shocked the hockey world when they traded the BEST player of the game to the LA Kings. No player before or since has yet to tie or break Gretzky’s points records [2857 points -894 goals/1963 assists] and I’m not sure any player will ever break his points record. Gretzky was the greatest player to play the game that much is fact and will never be in dispute. I am simply tired of hearing every radio and sports channel re-play footage/interviews from “the trade” and a rehash of every repercussion that was a result of “the trade” as well as all the “what-ifs” had “the trade” never happened or happened with a different team. Enough is enough, let’s stop talking about the past and talk about the present!

You know its been a quiet off-season when the biggest news headlines for weeks at a time are things like: “30 teams in 30 days” or “10 questions that _______ will need to answer to be successful in 2013-2014” or “Will _____ help lead their team to playoff success?”

In Canuck related news, will the Canucks please, just announce the re-signing of CHRIS TANEV already?! This signing is taking forever!  Rumor has it, he has been getting interest from teams in the KHL and Switzerland while contract talks have been nearly non-existent. The longer it takes to officially sign Tanev, the more likely it is that another team will sign him to an offer sheet forcing the Canucks to match.  Last year Philadelphia forced Nashville’s hand with a 14-year offer sheet for Shea Weber that saw the Predators match the long-term offer. I am not comparing Weber to Tanev in any way other than to say that much like last year with Weber forcing Nashville’s hand, Tanev could force Vancouver’s hand if he signed an offer sheet.

Rumor also has it that the Canucks and Douglas Murray are in talks. We will have to wait and see how this plays out in reality.

When the Canucks return to the city for training camp and pre-season, all eyes will be on Roberto Luongo who will make the return that many did not expect. As I have said all along, I am LUONGO fan through and through, so I am very excited to see #1 return to my Canucks.

Perhaps we will see his sense humor much like this that he shared in his Canuck poetry:

and hopefully we will hear many #LUUUUUUUUUU cheers this season, following many saves much like these 5 sensational stops:

It has been very quiet in the hockey world as of late….almost a little too quiet news wise. The best the media has come up with is talking nonstop about a trade that happened 25 years ago and discussing as always the endless potential of rumors.

Can I say it again?..the off-season is dragging! Only 4 1/2 weeks until pre-season & less than 2 months until the regular season! #isitoctoberyet

Can hockey just come back please?!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

2013 Draft thoughts…

The NHL draft began with the Canucks needing to trade ONE goalie and possibly gaining a top 10 draft pick. It ended with them achieving this exact feat, just not the way ANYONE thought it would go down. Yes the Canucks gained the 9th overall pick and yes trading ONE of their goalies. It was not the anticipated movement of Roberto Luongo that everyone assumed it would be, but rather Cory Schneider that was traded to the New Jersey Devils. Cue the social media bonanza as everyone seemed to have an armchair GM opinion to share as the news broke.

It was a controversy that began last spring when this city seemed to turn on their solidified number one goalie Roberto Luongo in favour of the younger and less intimidating contract Cory Schneider. To be honest I am not shocked in many means that it worked out this way, perhaps the Canucks brass should have asked for more return value in the trade but it is what it is and we cannot go back. Cory Schneider is longer part of the Vancouver Canucks organization and the Roberto Luongo deserves A LOT of apologies/explanations from the Canucks brass as he is still a Vancouver Canuck despite what everyone predicted.

Best of luck to Cory in NJ. Schneider will once again be mentored by one of the best goalies in NHL history in Martin Brodeur. With Brodeur being near the end of his career, it makes sense that the Devils would target someone younger that is capable of being great in the near future. That being said, it will be a battle to take the net from Marty who despite his age is still an incredible goal-tender. It will be an incredible opportunity for him to play with Brodeur and to play in a new city. Best of luck Cory, you will have an incredible career!

Roberto Luongo despite endless predictions of being traded to an East Coast team, remains a Vancouver Canuck. I hope that the Canucks brass can mend the fences that were smashed when this city and many fans turned their backs on Luongo last spring. It really makes my blood boil the way this city turned so quickly and supported Cory who had yet to prove his worth. YES Schneider is an incredible athlete and will probably achieve some great accomplishments in his career but he has NOT earned the respect the Luongo earned long ago but is never given. The organization owes Roberto so much more than an apology for the last year and then everyone else needs to let it go and just let the guy play the game he loves. He proved last season that he is MORE than capable of being number one and an absolute consummate professional. I hope that Luongo comes to training camp in September and proves all his doubters wrong next season and they all see the incredible athlete he still is and helps the team once again go on a long playoff run. Please @strombone1 do not let all those doubters voices be the ones you listen to, you do have MANY real fans that will support you.

I don’t think any Canucks fans thought it would be Cory on the chopping block, but we need to accept it happened and move on. We still have an INCREDIBLE bonafide number one goal-tender that just two years ago took this team to ONE game within the Stanley Cup. You never know what the future holds and these are two players that both deserve to play in the games that matter.

Moving onto other Canucks news the team picked up some great prospects today in the draft: Bo Horvat, forward Hunter Shinkaruk, centre Cole Cassels, defenceman Jordan Subban, defenceman Anton Cederholm, defenceman Mike Williamson and Miles Liberati. Welcome to the NHL and the Vancouver Canucks organization!

Draft day has officially come to a close and now we wait for the madness of free agency to begin. Are you prepared for the craziness to begin?

One last question, are we really SHOCKED canuck nation that Gillis did not trade Alex Edler? Really? His contract is a steal in comparison to recent contracts being signed by top NHL defencemen [Weber, Letang].

Hockey does not end in June. The NHL has 4 seasons: the pre-season, the regular season, the post-season, and the off season. The off-season is sure to hold a few surprises yet. As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Moving forward…

The trade deadline is over. How did other fans fare today?  Did your team make any bold moves or stand pat today? Were you disappointed or excited by the results? Did any moves shock you?[The move that shocked me most of all was Tampa’s trade of Cory Conacher!!!! I know they needed a goalie but really that was quite the gamble trading away potentially the rookie of the year.]

Well now that the trade deadline has come and gone, can we please stop commenting on Luongo’s contract and his position with the team? He is officially a part of the team for the remainder of the season, accept that reality. I am more than happy to see LOU still with the Canucks and I think it provides stability having BOTH him & Schneids playing down the stretch. I doubt anyone will complain about having two elite goal-tenders IF the Canucks play deep into June. Next, stop complaining about moves Gillis did not make and instead think of the potential in the move that he did make in acquiring Derek Roy. Do not worry about his rental status or potential to re-sign with the team moving forward but rather the impact he can have with the team NOW and in the playoffs.

Roberto Luongo and Derek Roy will both have an impact on the team moving forward. Let’s enjoy getting to have them as a part of our team whether it is just the remainder of this season or beyond to next season. They both will do their best to help the Canucks to achieve their primary goal of an extended playoff run. Maybe the Canucks did not make the moves people expected them to BUT remember the Canucks have help coming with Kesler, Raymond, Kassian & Weise returning to the line up this week.  Perhaps Roy will be exactly the spark that will aid our ailing powerplay and turn Kesler back into his unstoppable #beastmode self. Roy will provide some stability to the 2nd/3rd lines that has been lacking this season with both Kesler and Malhotra being out of the line up.

The stretch drive begins NOW, most teams [Canucks included] have just 12 games left to secure playoff positioning. Some teams will surprise us and some will disappoint and some will be completely unpredictable. The playoffs are just around the corner and as we all know: ANYTHING can happen once the playoffs begin. The best is yet to come, are you prepared? Here is a little treat to get you pumped for the impending playoffs[there’s a little shout out to most teams]:

Next up, the Canucks will host the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow night and will look to exact a little revenge for the way that the Oilers stomped on them the last time these two met. Tomorrow will also mark the Annual Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon, all the proceeds will go their various children’s charities. Click to link to donate: https://canuckplace.helpforcharities.com/

Trades are said and done. Whatever the results, it is time to move on and accept whatever moves were or were not made. Enjoy the remainder of the season as it comes! It’s an exciting time of year to watch hockey as things tighten up in each conference and teams just outside the top 8 attempt to push themselves into the playoff contention. Enjoy these next 4 weeks before playoffs begin, the final standings and playoff match ups are still to be determined. The trade deadline has come and gone, rosters are locked and the drive to the playoffs is just beginning. Can you feel the excitement beginning to take over in some cities?

Whatever moves your team made or did not make, do not focus on what you expected or did not expect but rather just enjoy the remainder of the season, it is nearly over!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Here’s looking to #LOUKID

Have the Canucks been struggling as of late? Yes, but that does not mean you immediately fire the coach and make rash trade decisions! A four game skid is hardly the time to panic. Now, that everyone has started to relax due to the Canucks much needed victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Let’s look at it like this: last night marked Game 25 for the Canucks, their official start to the 2nd half of their season, and 1-0-0 to start.

The win in Columbus finally put the Canucks over the 30 point mark. Did anyone think that the talk heading into last night’s game would be about the Columbus Blue Jackets being the hottest team in the NHL over the last 7 games? No, because hot streaks just do not encompass the Blue Jackets of old. Beating Columbus is not as easy people seem to think it used to be or should be. Despite them being 13th in the conference, they have just had 8 straight games with a point [5-0-3].  And even though the Blue Jackets are slightly under the .500 level of wins, in 5 games vs. Detroit this year they have gone 4-0-1, pretty impressive for a team everyone expects to beat. Not too mention their goal-tending from Bobrovsky has been incredible as of late. Enough about Columbus. Did you hear Chicago lost 2 in regulation in a row? [yes I know, no big deal for a team that already has 45 points!] Or how about the fact that Sidney Crosby is leading the scoring race with 45 points & counting?[he seems to picking up right where he left off before his concussion]. Or how about Steven Stamkos yet again being the first forward to surpass the 20 goal mark?

Rumors are getting louder in regards to the Flames, Iginla and Kiprusoff. Rumor has it is not whether Iginla will be moved but a matter of WHEN he will be moved. Buzz is also surrounding Kiprusoff’s long-term status with the team. The problem with the these rumors are that if the Flames ever moved Iginla, not only would their fans want to riot, but it would extremely disrespectful to the face of their franchise. Iginla has been with the organization for his entire career [nearly 18 years!]. The other major issue with moving either of these players is the question of their asking price and what other teams would be willing to give up in exchange for Iginla or Kipper.

BACK to BUSINESS:  Last night also marked just the 2nd start for Roberto Luongo in two weeks. Yes that Detroit game was a debacle and the Calgary game was anything but pretty. Luongo was the first one in both of those games to admit he was not at his best in either game, but then again where was the rest of the team in BOTH of those games? It was not just that Luongo was shaky in those games, it was the fact that the ENTIRE team seemed to disappear in both. It made sense that Cory Schneider would get a chance to build off his victory against LA following those games, but instead of rising to occasion what followed was 3 straight losses which exposed some major inconsistencies to Schneider’s game. Yes I know shocking to think that the ever praised Cory should struggle when called upon, but true. The thing is all those fans who demanded for Luongo to be sent packing[and are now begging him to stay!] were so certain that Schneider would be the answer. I admit the guy is a great athlete, but he has not played anywhere near the level he was at last year. This season has been a constant ‘be kind, rewind’ year for Schneids as his play has been consistently inconsistent much to the chagrin of his fans. There seems to have been this false belief that he could and would never fail built up, so when his struggles began it was hard for his major fans to understand. Relax, the guy is human, and humans much to our chagrin are prone to making a few mistakes.

No one is perfect, but alas that is problem yes? That is the same thing that has been plaguing Luongo since he started playing for the Canucks…every time he plays brilliantly EVERYONE loves the guy, but heck a few bad games and the ENTIRE city turns on the guy!  The city has not completely turned on Schneids, but more and more cries for Luongo to stay[for atleast this year] are getting louder. I still cannot understand the rush to send the guy away. Do Canucks fans remember the last time we had a goal-tender of Luongo’s caliber? It was back in 1994. Since Luongo began his tenure in 2006, the Canucks have only missed the playoffs once[2008], won 5 division titles, 2 presidents trophies, 1 Western Conference Final, and took the home team to game 7 of the Final. Not to mention him winning an Olympic Gold Medal in 2010 in front of the home fans. When Luongo arrived, he brought with him a winning attitude and the drive to push himself and his team mates to be better. Coming into this season, even though the media decided that he was now the backup net minder that did not deter his work ethic, he spent 7 weeks in Florida training with all-star goalie coach Francois Allaire. With all the attention thrown at Schneider, Luongo has been very patient and never uttered one negative word towards his friend, simply being supportive. Both Luongo and Schneider have dealt with this media perpetrated controversy with a high level of maturity. Schneider has not had to deal with any real negative press until his inconsistent play this season. It is easy to talk to the media when you are playing well, but extremely difficult when you are struggling. Last year Schneider was not the starter and always coming in to play hero as the back up, so there was no pressure whereas this year he was supposed to be the undisputed starter. That is not what happened as his season began with less than stellar play. Luongo knows the pressure that comes with playing in the hockey crazed Vancouver spotlight and all the ups and downs that come with it. When you’re on a roll, the whole city is behind you but start to go on a skid and suddenly the whole city is calling for your head. Maybe its the pressure, maybe its something else that is responsible for Cory’s struggle for consistency this year, but now is not the time to go for the gamble, it is time to go for consistency on a nightly basis. Cory has been given many many chances to secure himself as the number one, but thus far has been unable to do so, which has paved the way for Luongo to provide the consistency the Canucks are in need of. I don’t know about you, but I am glad that the Canucks were not in hurry to  give Luongo away with the way the season has gone [not too mention just about every team in the league this season has depended on the play of BOTH their goalies]. Here’s to an intriguing second half!

A closer look at Cory & Lu’s stats thus far:

In 14 starts Cory Schneider is 6-5-3 [15 points earned]. In that span he has earned 1 shutout, sports a 2.63 GAA and 0.910 SV %. in 14 starts, 7 times Cory has allowed 3 or more goals.

In 11 starts Luongo is 6-2-3 [15 points earned, earning points in all but 2 starts]. In that span he has earned 2 shutouts, and sports a 2.08 GAA[yes even with that debacle in Detoit!] and a 0.917 SV %.  If you take away the Detroit game, his numbers improve to somewhere near the neighborhood of 1.63 GAA and a  0.943 SV%.

The season started with Schneids holding the reigns, but with recent struggles, the tides have turned back to Luongo. Heres looking at #LOUKID

The season started with Schneids holding the reigns, but with his recent struggles, the reigns have returned back to Luongo.  Heres looking at #LOUKID

Tomorrow is #gameDAY!  Cannot wait to see my #Canucks take on the red hot #Predators live at Rogers Arena tomorrow for my birthday! My birthday wish for tomorrow is for Luongo to get the start, Bieksa to return & the Canucks to get a HUGE win at home! We will have to wait and see what AV’s coin reveals tomorrow, but for now: #GoCanucksGo!

25 games down, 23 to go.

Here’s looking to #LOUKID!

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

 

Roberto deserves better from you Vancouver & you should give him the respect he’s earned.

**I apologize, this post is a little long but there was so much to address.

Roberto Luongo deserves better from you, VANCOUVER. There is one thing that all of Vancouver fans owe to one Roberto Luongo and that is RESPECT. If there is one thing he has earned, it is at least respect. The guy could never do anything right in the eyes of some whether the team was winning or losing. Did he let some bad goals at times? Yes…but so has every other good goalie. He took on the burdens the city and media laid upon him, .and in the media placing the blame or glory on him, the city followed suit. One day everyone would love him and the next people wanted him gone and so the pattern would go. Oh how soon most of you all forget the good things that he has done for  this team and city.

I’m going tell you story about a guy named LOU. So sit right down & prepare to listen all the way through.

Let me tell you a story, picture it: it was April 2006 and the Canucks were without a bonafide #1 goalie with Dan Cloutier injured and Alex Auld flailing to fill the void(he was supposed to be the back up BUT had to play as starter when Cloutier went down) and there would be no playoffs. The playoff miss brought with it change, not just in coaching but on the roster too. Marc Crawford[had been coach for 8 years!] was fired and Alain Vigneault was named head coach. In a bold move, June 30, 2006 the Canucks traded Todd Bertuzzi & Auld to Florida in exchange for Roberto Luongo and Lucas Krajcek. He brought with himself high expectations to win and the certainty that the Canucks would return to the playoffs.The following season was one filled with many expectations and it lived up to it…although it was a slow beginning…the play down the stretch was something special. Luongo led the team to become the 2007 NW Division champion & playoffs with 47 WINS(P.S. the team had 49 W’s total that year…!) and was nominated for the HART & the VEZINA trophies. Round 1 of the 2007 playoffs brought the Dallas Stars…7 games….it became a goalie showdown…it was incredible to watch…4 OT periods that first game before Hank scored…but game 7 LOU was amazing…and Linden sealed that one. It was his 1st ever playoff series experience and victory. The 2nd round was not our forte….but there were some great moments despite the loss and the blame cannot all be placed on ONE player so do NOT go there. The following season [2007-2008] brought some more great moments for our city….Loungo’s 1st 3 game + shutout streak in November…Linden’s last game but there were no playoffs this time, only the promise that the team would be better next season. The[ 2008-2009] season opened with the Canucks beating the Flames 6-0….that was certainly an amazing opening act. November brought Loungo’s 2nd 3 game+ shutout streak(I was at the 2nd game of that streak…it was incredible to watch!) in which he beat his record from the year before! Things were going well until Luongo was injured and there began an 11 game losing streak in January brought all the questions from the year before….what about playoffs? blame being placed everywhere….and then a game in early February….at home vs. Carolina…tied 3-3 with less than 5 minutes to play…the Canucks short-handed seemed destined to lose yet again…but a BIG save & even bigger goal by BURR snapped the streak. That win got the Canucks back on track and they played unbelievable down the stretch to win their 2nd NW Division title in 3 years and just like that the city became crazed in playoff dreams. The first round brought the St.Louis Blues and 2-0 series lead gained at home…including a shutout in game 2. ***let me just say that going to a playoff game is even more incredible than during the regular season…! The Canucks would go on to gain a 3-0 series lead with a chance to sweep..something they had never done before EVER and of course it came down to less than 20 seconds of OT[looking certain to go into a 2nd overtime] but who else but BURR gets to goal for the SWEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great goal-tending & an excellent PK won the series hands down….the next round brought out the Chicago Blackhawks….and well it started out great….1-0 series lead….2-1 series lead….a back & forth game 6 that looked briefly as thought the Canucks would win….but of course we all know what happened…they didn’t and this was the 1st heart-ache the Blackhawks caused me and also ignited a deep loathing of all things Chicago Blackhawk related. The [2009-2010 season] brought out special circumstances with the Winter Olympics being smack dab in the middle of February and requiring the NHL to pause their season for 2 1/2 weeks while many players represented their countries in the event. Luongo was supposed to back up Brodeur…and was given game 1 to play with the understanding that these would be Brodeur’s games. However when Brodeur faltered against the USA, Luongo was handed the reigns and never gave them back. Yes it was CROSBY that scored the GOLDEN GOAL but it was LUONGO that made that ridiculous save against Slovakia to insure that team Canada was able to play in the gold medal game.

CROSBY SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!! CANADA WINS GOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Upon returning to the regular season Luongo led to team to their 3rd NW Division title in 4 years and HANK won the Art Ross. Luongo had 40 W’s. The 2010 playoffs brought more excitement to the city still high off the winning gold on home ice at the Olympics. Round one went back and forth with the Kings[some great glove saves on both sides..particularly that one LOU had on Smyth!]…but it was the lack of penalty kills and WAY too many penalties being taken that nearly cost this series…..I remember thinking just kill ONE penalty and stop taking more….and finally they killed one and then another and then a few big saves…and a game 4 won to tie the series..and suddenly they were in control of game 5…and game 6 WON! Round 2 once more brought the Blackhawks from the windy city…and once more it started out great…1-0 series lead….but then down 3-1…….and then game 5 WON…..and hope once more….but we all know what happened in game 6…..it wasn’t pretty. 2 years in a row….twice in 6 games the Canucks were eliminated by Chicago…twice they were the better team. It ignited an even greater dislike of all things Chicago Blackhawk related.
The [2010-2011 season] was special in many ways. Luongo set the bar even higher….becoming to most winning Canuck goalie….reaching his personal 300th career W….helping lead the Canucks to their BEST franchise record EVER…[54-19-9…earning 117 points to earn the Presidents trophy securing home ice for the entire playoffs] in which they led in all the important categories : #1 powerplay #1 penalty kill(*3rd by playoffs, still amazing), #1 in goals scored and #1in least goals allowed. They won the NW Division title for the 4th time in 5 years and won the entire regular season in the West & the East….the next best team had 109 points. This time it was DANNY that won the Art Ross. The Canucks opened the playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks…yes I know..3 years in a row…how is that even possible?! The Blackhawks were lucky to make the playoffs in 2011…but still they had a talented team. The Canucks knowing that if they were to go a long way MUST beat the previous Stanley Cup champion team. It was a fantastic 1st 3 games…the Canucks led the series 3-0!!..yes I know amazing…but then the Blackhawks started playing the way they always do…and got themselves back into the series…tying it 3-3….leading to the inevitable game 7…do or die. There were so many implications going into that game….and then it started…LOU opened with some great saves and then KES to BURROWS…SCORES!!!!!!!!! and the score remained 1-0 for nearly the entire game…a missed penalty shot….then there was a last minute powerplay which ended up with the Blackhawks tying it shorthanded rather than 2-0 it became 1-1. Overtime for all the marbles….Canucks take a bad penalty….SHARP goes for the goal…but STOPPED BY LUONGO….and suddenly the penalty is over. Campoli misses the clearing attempt BURROWS steals and SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the dragon has been slayed…or as Jim Hughson said it: “it’s a great day for an exorcisim, Vancouver!”.

SHARP shoots…GREAT SAVE LUONGO!!! Campoli misses the clear, BURROWS steals…shoots SCORES!!!!!!!!!! THE CANUCKS SLAY THE DRAGON!! BLACKHAWK DOWN!

The games that followed were an amazing run….and one of these days the Canucks will win the cup[every team will have their day]. This season we just had…maybe it wasn’t as amazing as the 2010/2011 season…but it was still a great one…that ended in a 2nd President’s trophy. BURR scoring & LOU standing tall to end the streak in Detroit….these two teams always play great against one another. And maybe there was no magical playoff run this time…but DO NOT place all the blame on #1….was it his fault that the Canucks couldn’t beat Quick? No. What is supposed to make saves and score too? That is illogical. It breaks my heart a little to think of how quick when things go wrong that the local media(The Province & The Vancouver Sun in particular) followed by the fans are to solely blame Luongo…even if the team in front of him struggled greatly…but all anyone ever mentions is the bad goal let in…or if he just stopped that one…..but what about if the defense had just blocked that shot? or if the forwards had just got that one goal? or if the powerplay clicked? I’m sick of it. In comes Cory Schneider…yes he’s a great athlete…yes he’s played 60 NHL games(peanuts compared to Lou) but he is not a bonafide starter and he could STILL benefit greatly from having LOU in tandem with him this coming season. Luongo holds most of the Canuck goalie records…or don’t you remember? I enjoy watching these two play and they make each other play better…it is not a coincidence that suddenly Schneider was playing amazing this year, but he has not yet earned the respect that everyone is so quick to give him. Yes he has earned the right at playing more and getting a chance…but he has NOT earned the respect of Lou’s experience. Luongo has given this team an amazing 6 years…5 playoff appearances….solidifying himself in the Canucks record books…5 Division titles…1 Western Conference Championship…2 Presidents Trophies…not to mention his work with Canuck Place, Canucks For Kids Fund, & his other charities…so do not start telling me to give Cory that same respect because he has not earned that just yet. Maybe he will, but he isn’t there yet. To me Luongo will always be a Canuck and I secretly(or not so secretly since I’m sharing it with all of you] hope that he stays in Vancouver this season and should Cory falter that LOU takes those reigns and does not relinquish them until the Canucks win their 1st Stanley Cup. What is so wrong with having potentially one of the greatest goalie-tandems in the league..I will answer you, nothing…it would be amazing. I have nothing but the greatest respect Luongo and always have…I will always LOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU no matter where he plays but like I said I hope that he stays in my city with my team. #foreveraCanuck in my eyes!

So the next time you think about following the media’s standpoint on criticizing a player..just think back to what they have done for the team, the city, and the fans…do not just adopt their attitude present in their article because it is not always true.The fans should not be taken in by the media’s tirade on the team or their players…as a fan you should always root for your team and the players that make up your team.I would hope that the local media would report the accurate facts but also when things aren’t going well for the team instead of attacking the players and coaches and placing the blame that they would encourage the fans and the city to still cheer loud because positivity can go a long way.  I will never understand the local media when things go bad can never find one decent thing to say about the team…but only the negatives…and if that is all the fans are reading…suddenly those become the thoughts they are thinking when a similar spiral begins and they too start sharing the same negative blame placing attitude. It is unacceptable and hopefully in the coming season things will change. How would you feel if every time you opened the paper there was a new article about how everything that is going wrong is yet again somehow YOUR fault….it would be ridiculous. The local media has become so absurd that I stopped by the local papers following this last season because it each day the excuses implied by them was that the blame all fall on one individual…and as we all know hockey is a TEAM sport…a TEAM game…and like any TEAM game…TEAMS win or lose TOGETHER.

That is all.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.