After being questioned last season, he posted some of the best statistics of his career during the regular season and received a nomination for the Vezina Trophy. During the playoffs, he came up huge in Game 7 of the first round winning the game in overtime and overcoming his playoff demons by defeating his hated rivals. Throughout the postseason, he posted 4 shutouts, including 2 in the final round. He backstopped his team to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. And won.

Yes, I’m talking about Tim Thomas in that paragraph above, but up until those final two words, I could have been talking about Roberto Luongo. So why isn’t anyone in Boston calling for Thomas to be traded?

Luongo was incredible for the Canucks this season, leading the league in wins, finishing second behind Thomas in goals against average, and fourth in save percentage. With Cory Schneider, he won the Jennings trophy for having the lowest overall goals against in the regular season. He was nominated for the Vezina, but will likely lose it to Thomas. In the first round of the playoffs, he bounced back from the embarrassment of a Game 4 shellacking and a Game 5 benching with two solid games, including a superb Game 7 performance. That performance led to an overtime win that was supposed to erase the doubts over whether Luongo could be a “big game” goalie.

And yet the doubts remain. Somehow, losing in the Stanley Cup Final has become Luongo’s fault, despite the offense in front of him contributing a measly 8 goals in 7 games. Heck, only 5 of those goals were meaningful, with the remaining 3 recorded after games were already out of reach. Despite posting two 1-0 shutouts in the Stanley Cup Final, Luongo is being questioned. Fans are asking whether the team can trade him. Media are asking whether the team can trade him. Jason Botchford has somehow interpreted going to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final as continuing a negative trend. Heck, some callers to the Team 1040 were wondering if he could be buried in the minors like Wade Redden or Sheldon Souray. Is everyone insane? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

It is absolutely baffling to me that the most successful season in Canucks history is leading to this many questions about their starting goaltender. Could he have been better in the Stanley Cup Final? Of course. He was simply not as good as he should have been. Would it have made a difference? Probably not. Without anyone scoring goals, the Canucks were not going to win this series. If not for Luongo shutting the door in 3 of the 7 games, this could have been a Boston sweep. Everything I’ve seen from Luongo in his time in Vancouver gives me every confidence that he is not done. Like the Sedins, he constantly battles to improve and become a better player. Next season, he will have something to prove and he will play like it.

If it weren’t for the fact that Canucks fans participated in an actual riot after Game 7, the fans calling for Luongo to be traded would be the ones I’m most upset with and ashamed of. The two previous goalies that led the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final are held up as legends in Vancouver. Don’t be so quick to throw Luongo under the bus. Take some time. Gain some perspective. Stop being stupid.

 

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51 comments

  1. Jaegen
    June 17, 2011

    Amen. Somehow the 2nd best goalie in the league isn’t good enough for some Canucks fans…

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  2. Canuckslifer
    June 17, 2011

    Agree, Luongo had a brilliant regular season. Agree, he had some brilliant games in the playoffs. Agree, you need to score goals to win. But not many, if your goalie is on his game. The President’s trophy is nice, but you cannot win the Stanley Cup without superlative play from your goalie. Would the ’94 Canucks have gone to the final without McLean between the pipes, playing some of the best hockey of his career? Would Boston have won the Cup without Tim Thomas impersonating a wall of cement? Luongo needs to be that guy, not the $10 million goalie who regularly got hooked and replaced by a very respectable $900k Cory Schneider. And I ask you this: how can all the guys playing in front of Luongo NOT be affected by his crazy inconsistent play? Your entire game changes when you can’t, deep down, trust your goalie to make the big saves…or even just a regular ol’ save. I like Luongo the guy, the talent is there, but it’s been proven time and time again that clearly that’s not enough. That’s not crazy talk, that’s the facts.

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    • kim r
      June 17, 2011

      Why is it always the goalie’s fault? I really wish I could understand the mentality of the Vancouver hockey fan in this regard.

      The other players, you know, the ones that should be worrying about THEIR position and THEIR jobs should be worrying more about scoring and/or defense.

      Apparently they are professionals and should be trying to achieve based on their skills and abilities and not what the headcase goalie is up to. If they can’t do that then perhaps they aren’t professionals and should be treated as such.

      If you want to look at the other side of the coin, Luongo stole two games for them and when he needed help they weren’t there.

      All I need to know and remember from this series is one simple thought: Edler didn’t have two broken fingers from hailing a cab. To me, that was indicative of the series and what they were up against.

      It’s easy and fun to blame the goalie. Over and over and over. Year after year after year.

      Count me out.

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  3. Nathan
    June 17, 2011

    Thanks for this article. You guys are usually spot-on with how I’m feeling which is why I keep coming back here. I hope you guys continue to gain in popularity so that your passionately rational analysis of the team and the game can infiltrate the rest of the Vancouver media.

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    • Maplemusketeer
      June 17, 2011

      “passionately rational analysis”. Yes. *double fist pump*

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  4. Chloe
    June 17, 2011

    Preach it.

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  5. kim r
    June 17, 2011

    Yes. To repeat Chloe above: Preach it and preach it loud.

    Sometimes I wonder if this city deserves a decent team with all the silliness from the media and fans.

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  6. Chris
    June 17, 2011

    Sometimes, I feel like people are just regurgitating what they hear. One guy goes, Luongo sucks. 100 guys go, Luongo sucks without even thinking about it.

    Fans like this makes me think that we don’t deserve a good goalie. Ever.

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  7. Pucked in the Head
    June 17, 2011

    You’re not the only one, sir. I’ve been flummoxed by the repeated calls for Luongo to be benched and/or traded. How much do you want to bet these same people worship at the altars of Kirk McLean and Richard Brodeur? And yet, they vilify Lou despite his being a vastly superior netminder – technically, statistically, you name it. The only conclusion I’ve come up with is that these people don’t know much about hockey.

    Seven Things about Roberto Luongo: http://thehockeywriters.com/27296
    A Black & Gold Championship, Stating the Obvious & Going Out on Top: http://www.puckedinthehead.com/seventhings-20110615

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  8. PeeSeeGee
    June 17, 2011

    You must have great hand-eye co-ordination, you seem to hit the nail on the head every time.

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  9. VancityMike
    June 17, 2011

    I’ve been thinking about something for the past 36 hours. Like a physicist, I’m trying to find a unified theory to explain what I’ve seen. Here’s my conclusion – there is an undercurrent of rampant negativity in our region – nobody is ever happy with anything. There’s always something wrong – weather, Canucks, politics, taxes, BC Ferries, Telus, Toronto, cops, Americans, traffic, , etc. Often this negativity is confined to the water cooler. Recently, it has been given a new medium or two on which to run rampant with comments pages and twitter replies. Occassionally, it allows civilized human beings to cross over to the dark side and vent through violence and destruction. But whether it is Luongo or something else, the problem isn’t with the target of the wrath but with those who spew the venom. Our region is sick and needs to look inward to figure out why we’re such miserable, negative children. Until we can find some way to rid the region of the anger and the malaise, the symptoms of our illness will continue to materialize, on the streets, in the media and who knows where else. But how do we do it?

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    • Maplemusketeer
      June 17, 2011

      You’ve touched upon the west coast negative perspectivitis! It indeed is a very noticeable feature of this area. Heck people all over the world have it too but here it keys in on several things. The weather, BC Ferries, local or regional or federal politics, what have you. Once realized it can be let go of. The irrational delusional unhappy people will never be happy.

      They live in a world famous rainforest and complain about the rain. Yet don’t move. Osoyoos is in a desert. Many other parts of BC also get significantly less precipitation. Oh and water is the 2nd most important thing to life after oxygen.

      I live on a bit of the province that requires ferry access. Ferries are a reality. If one wishes to not have to deal with them then there is a much greater amount of continent with no ferry required. Honest.

      Our Gov’t has relatively low levels of corruption and no king/dictator/overlord ruling with an iron grip of fear and hostile militaristic intervention. That’s kind of keen. Could be better, could be much much worse.

      And our team worked their asses off to do the best they could and get within one game of hoisting the cup. Amazing and fantastic. Thanks for the great season guys.

      And thanks PITB for your wonderful writing :D

      Now… isn’t it getting a bit hot in here? Gosh this long dry summer.. all those forest fires.. what gives? ;)

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    • John in Marpole
      June 18, 2011

      You’re onto something with there being an inate need for the locals to find something to be negative about when there is so much to be positive about. That includes sports, obviously, but includes every other aspect of life here.

      I think there is another factor to consider aside from the 2 you mention (twitter & commets pages), that being sports talk radio.

      It’s not that I’m not a listener, in fact I participate in the 1040 listener surveys and at some point each day – usually when Ferarro or BMac are on the air – I am tuned in to 1040. So I’m not throwing stones from a zone of ignorance.

      In my opinion the need for some kind of controversy to build listener interest has motivated some of the on-air personalities to constantly throw negative messages around on an almost daily basis. To be more specific, David Pratt is continually coming up with things out of left feild that are prefaced with statements like “Everybody is talking about” or “Trust me”, followed by some ridiculous conspiracy theory or skeevy rumor.

      Not saying there wasn’t a negative element prior to 1040 owning sports around Vancouver, but that negative spin now has a 5 days-a-week platform that feeds the lesser-knowledgable with bitch-chow fodder to fuel their negative mindset.

      There are things that aren’t positive, and there are legiimate things to criticize, but when your local team came within 1 win of a championship there is much much more to be positive about. I’d like to see the positive/negative comments ratio be more aligned with the reality of the situation.

      Yeah, I’m a dreamer.

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  10. anom
    June 17, 2011

    Luongo is fine. It is hard to see how a team with a better combination of talent and grit could be put together for a run. It’s the intangibles that are at play here and for me the biggest one is the coach.

    It’s time for Mr Gant to go – 7th game of the SCF or not. I’m sick of his patter. Even after the loss, he could have said that the discussion of injuries should be left to a latter day, but to say “No injuries. Everyone is 100%” after it is all over is just mind numbing!

    It’s the intangibles. We have a fantastic core that will play well for another coach. Let’s get another good coach with a bit more of what the team really needs – behind and in front of the camera.

    MG has shown that he is very shrewed at identifying missing/problem components of the team. I hope he pulls the trigger on this one as I think it could really make the difference and solidify an already excellent team for their next playoff run – and there will be more to come.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      June 17, 2011

      I didn’t mind the “no injuries” comments. You see it as mind numbing, I see it as him refusing to make excuses. Kesler did the same thing.

      That said, I have no idea what goes on inside the room. If there is a problem with AV or another member of the coaching staff, I’m confident Gillis will identify the issue and address it. I don’t think AV is a problem and I sincerely doubt he’ll get fired after the season the Canucks had, but again, I don’t know what things are like inside the room.

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      • anom
        June 17, 2011

        “I didn’t mind the “no injuries” comments. You see it as mind numbing, I see it as him refusing to make excuses. Kesler did the same thing.”

        I think he can make this point by putting off the discussion for another day. To repeat the patter of “everyone is 100%” after it is all over shows a lack of thought process and a certain disconnect from himself and those around him.

        As you say, no one knows what goes on in the room but I can imagine we are seeing the same Mr Gant in front of the cameras.

        I agree that MG will pounce if he feels there is cause and I am happy to leave it at that.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          June 17, 2011

          Here’s a compromise: there’s no chance AV will be fired in the off-season. If the team struggles early next season, it might be a different story.

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          • J Walter Weatherman
            June 17, 2011

            The “Everyone is a 100%” is the best answer from a public relations point of view.

            If he puts it any other way, some journalist will write a “AV blames injuries for loss” article. Just look how any phrase that was said in these finals was blown out of proportion.

            In the Province website, there is an article that simply lists the injuries. 90% of the comments on it are “This organization of whiners are blaming injuries for blah-blah-blag”.

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  11. Geoff
    June 17, 2011

    I seriously wonder sometimes if I could have made it through this playoff run without pass it to bulis. Everyone else reporting is trying to sensationalize their work to the point that it no longer reflects anything close to what actually happened. It came down to one game, winner takes the cup, ask any real fan in the pre-season or game 12 or 37 or 62 and they would gladly take that every year.

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    • Ablefish
      June 17, 2011

      I agree with this whole-heartedly. PITB is one of the VERY few places you can go online for rational, thoughtful Canucks conversation. On the radio, it’s Shorthouse and Ferraro that I want to listen to, and in print, it’s PITB. Thanks for a great season.

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  12. Bob
    June 17, 2011

    I quite agree with this article. But if I were Luongo, I would want out. With all the BS that the media and ‘fans’ put him through here, what a hostile working environment.

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  13. Max
    June 17, 2011

    Hey guys, you do make a point in that people are overly bashing Luongo who did get us to one win away from winning it all. But lets face it, he does deserve a good portion of the blame. The truth his, and by his own admission, he has not been able to keep his mental focus throughout the long play-off schedule. This basically came to head in the finals where when he was on, he was great but when he was off, he had epic meltdowns on the ice. Yes our offense lacks but when the offense cant find the spark, the Goalie has got to keep them in the game and motivate them to push forward. Tim Thomas did this for Boston but Luongo failed at crucial points – specifically in games 6 and 7.

    Bottomline, I’m not a Luongo hater but my confidence in him definitely took a beating these play-offs. I think he can still win the cup in Vancouver…but he has got to get better. He needs to be the same Luongo who won the Dallas series for us in his first year as a Canuck almost single-handedly…

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  14. BECanucks
    June 17, 2011

    I CAN’T believe my eyes… Lu is the most popular buy out this week on capgeek… are the fans in Vancouver crazy or what??? Have they already forgotten that we had to make do with Cloutier???
    I will never understand how people think.

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    • Mandy
      June 20, 2011

      Yes! Exactly! I have not forgotten Cloutier, which is why I thank God every day for Luongo, who is in my opinion, one of the best goalies to ever grace the Canucks’ presence.

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  15. Dominic
    June 17, 2011

    The blame game & finger pointing is interesting but there are intangibles. Consider this. In the 2006 entry draft, the Canucks had a first round pick but no second round. They picked Grabner -what happens ? They trade him for Ballard who plays very little in these playoffs. To get Grabner, the Canucks passed up on Lucic and Marchand. Hell, they could have drafted both of them. Forget Luongo and Vigneault – decisions made five years ago along with recent ones have had a residual effect. Indirectly they impacted the loss to Boston. Karma strikes again. The intangibles; the X-factor. It all adds up.

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    • kim r
      June 17, 2011

      There’s nothing that current management can do about the past. You work with what you have. This current management are doing a good job with putting in a solid core and finding some good talent out there *now* like Tanev, who was found at Rochester, way out of the loop.

      This current management is following the Detroit template: Excellent scouting, better drafting and making the team a good place to play.

      It’s up to current management to erase the problems of the past and sometimes it takes a while to get into a standard of being elite *every year*.

      Ballard, imho, was a very important part of the regular season and the President’s Cup, which should have been one of those intangibles – home ice.

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  16. Jaegen
    June 17, 2011

    A little thought experiment for everyone:

    If the Canucks had won game 7 by a score of 6-5, with both Luongo and Thomas having bad games, how many people would be still doubting Luongo?

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  17. Brown
    June 17, 2011

    You’re not insane – there is no looking past the fact that the offence was terrible in the Final series but let’s separate issues.
    Luongo was great in three Final games, awful in three others and mediocre in one.
    It’s hard to go to war (dumb analogy and cliche) with a guy when you never know what you are going to get.
    He pulled a similar jeckyl and hyde act against the Blackhawks.

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    • Jason
      June 17, 2011

      The only game he was truly awful in was game 6, which was unfortunate because it looked like the rest of the team had some real jump that game before he let in 3 quick stinkers.

      Game 7 he was mediocre (as was the rest of the team) and Games 3 and 4 I would say he played above average but as a goalie there’s only so much you can do when the guys in front of you aren’t picking up their checks and aren’t making smart decisions with the puck.

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      • Brown
        June 20, 2011

        Sorry Jason he was also truly awful in Game 4 – the fact that his best game on the road was an 8-1 loss tells you all you need to know about his awfulness in Boston.

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  18. Scott McKenzie
    June 17, 2011

    You know the exact answer to the question you asked in the nut graph: it’s because Luongo didn’t even give them a chance to win in games three, four, six and seven. Canucks aren’t trying to be regular season champs, western conference champs, or offseason champs. He won’t be traded, but I’m just saying that’s the answer to your question.

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    • Albert
      June 17, 2011

      Just curious… for which of the Canucks’ playoff losses this year do you not blame Luongo?

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  19. Tavia
    June 17, 2011

    Absolutely!!! Luongo was phenomenal all season! It’s embarrassing the way Canuck’s ‘fans’ are acting. We need to thank them for such a fun, rewarding season and get ready for next year.

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  20. Yoshi
    June 17, 2011

    I’m a huge Luongo fan but I am really mixed as to whether or not Lou should stay if he is, in fact, tradable. I could certainly see the benefit of moving him for both the organization and for Lou himself, though I’m not convinced this team can win without elite level goaltending.

    25 regular season games and an average playoff showing does little to convince me that Cory can be on Lou’s level because a hall of fame talent like Lou comes maybe once a decade.

    He’s had an amazing run since age 21 and he doesn’t show signs of declining. Based on his career path, I think he is capable of playing at a high level until the big money runs out on his contract when he’s around age 40.

    As expected, he is getting too much blame for the loss to the Bruins. His 3 poor games were not equally poor.

    He started game 3 very well with multiple big saves (which he makes look easy) on the 5 minute kill on the Rome penalty. Then 2 bad luck goals and some defensive breakdowns later and he’s shelled for 8. That’s a team loss. Lou deserves blame for letting the score get so high (his play got worse as the game went along), but not for the loss.

    Game 4 is a little more on Luongo. The 2nd goal was soft, though the 4th goal was just bad luck and perhaps shouldn’t have counted at all.

    He is a magician and steals game 5 while Thomas is relatively unscathed from non-Luongo criticism for letting in an awful goal. The backlash from the Lou criticism, to me, is the turning point of the series. I NEVER like to point to something as seemingly trivial as media criticism as a turning point, but Lou is a different breed. He reads the papers, knows the criticism and I definately think it can affect his game.

    Game 6 is ENTIRELY on Lou (as much as any game can be lost by a goalie).

    Game 7 he is average. It would be nice if, just once, the team could score and bail out a middling Lou performance but it never happened.

    If Lou is back, he needs to correct some mental/emotional aspects of his game. It feels like he could be so close…yet it could never happen. He was probably leading the Conn Smythe talk after game 2 of the SCF and it all went to hell.

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  21. Nuckszabest
    June 17, 2011

    Fact is Luongo is a very good goalie who has proven to be mentally weak in crucial games. He has a high cap hit at 5.3mio, if they could trade him for that Nash dude from Columbus, or off load his salary and get a Shea Weber, I am all for it. It makes sense since I think we have a legitimate goalie we could use as a number one in Schneider (much lower cap hit). The other thing Nucks should do next year if Luongo is still around is use Scheider even more, and make it clear that in the playoffs, they are going with a two goalie system.

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  22. Kevin
    June 17, 2011

    Vancouver has been a goaltending graveyard for so long, it seems fans have become accustomed to blaming the goalie.

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  23. Viva
    June 17, 2011

    Hell yeah!! I thought I was the only one that was crazy. Show a little gratitude for the amazing season that Lu had. And I am not buying into the argument that it’s Lu’s fault that the team collapses when he plays badly. Last I checked hockey was supposed to be a team game. Thanks for this post! Go Canucks go!

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  24. curse of bure
    June 18, 2011

    the Canucks organization has not won the cup in like 4 decades. In a big hockey market, that’s more than just shameful..it’s pathetic.Even Tampa bay and Carolina has won the cup..they have palm trees down there for christ sake!. the problem has always been that the management cares more about making money and selling a false sense of hope. the management drafts choke players, the fans buy in, they don’t do anything for years, the fans put on their rose tinted glasses,management keeps players cause they say its not the goalies fault, its not the defense, it’s not the offense, they have one overachieving year and then choke in the playoffs. Reset next season to the same thing again and again. Four decades come and go and the delusional fans still support and hope for a team which frankly will never win the cup. If you were the Canucks brass, and you were making money selling this false dream of the cup year after year eventhough you never deliver on promises you made, why would you care if you get the cup or not? The biggest problem besides the management is the enabling fans, who buy in hook line and sinker to what they’ve been sold all these years…that the team is close to winning a cup, that it’s good enough, that luongo is good enough…when they are not. Luongo is the most overrated overpaid goalie I’ve seen in a long time. His ego is so fragile and if you call him out, he seems to crumble like a deck of cards every time. some say say he is good because he has won the gold medal.Well, besides the fact that he gave up the late tying goal cause he was swimming on the crease, luongo played on a canadian allstar team. my grndma caould have won the gold medal with that team in front of her. Against chicago in the first round the team got off to a roaring start, only to choke 3 games in a row away after the hawks captain calls the canucks team out , saying he doesnt think theyre as good as everyone seemed to think..and he was right. the canucks got past the hawks in the 7th game from a lucky fluky goal on a rolling puck shot, The canucks could and should have choked there..but no, only the canucks can top a choke with the mother of all chokes in the finals.lastly, i dont know what’s more aggravating, the riots after the game or the fact that the Sedin sisters were pushed around like little boys and didnt even stand up for themselves. heck, not even the team stood up for them. and they wear the C and A? After the Rome hit, the Canucks seemed to act like a bunch of apologizers, for that hit, for the biting. I never heard of a team apologizing all the way to the cup. It was pathetic to watch. I was truly ashamed for the first time that i live in the same city as that team. Im glad they didnt win, cause it would have stained the image of the stanley cup.8 shots in the final game of the cup? that’s an nhl record. what more can one say? they deserved to lose. they deserved to lose cause they had a captain that did not or could not stand up for himself or his team, they had a over rated goalie, they had a defense that couldnt get the puck out of the zone , the had no offense when they needed it, they felt sorrow for everything good they did, they never pushed back, they are not worthy of a bra cup, let alone the stanley cup. Fans should start waking up and stop enabling such a choke team and useless organization.

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    • John in Marpole
      June 18, 2011

      When you say this:

      “it’s pathetic.Even Tampa bay and Carolina has won the cup..they have palm trees down there for christ sake!. the problem has always been that the management cares more about making money and selling a false sense of hope. the management drafts choke players, the fans buy in, they don’t do anything for years, the fans put on their rose tinted glasses,management keeps players…”

      You’re talking about Toronto, right? Because Toronto hasn’t even made the playoffs in 6 years, nor have the Leafs been in the Stanley Cup finals since 1967, whereas Vancouver has been to the finals 3 times since 1970, won their division several times, their Conference three times, and been first over-all once.

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  25. william
    June 18, 2011

    Luongo is too insconsistent to be considered a really elite goalie. He often lets in a bad goal then falls apart.

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  26. Karl
    June 18, 2011

    Thank you for this. Seeing so much of the media just trying to destroy Luongo has been terrible. He may have given up some weak goals. but he is one of the best in the world, and he has been there for us again and again. Maybe he did poorly in some of those games because so many of the fans just have no faith in him, as there is no goalie with as much pressure/scrutiny from the fans as he has. If those fickle fans would just throw support behind him, I think he would gain confidence from that and perform even better. But apparently many fans are mentally deficient, throwing him under the bus again and again.

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  27. Nancy
    June 18, 2011

    Thank you!!! The Final Game 7 was a TEAM loss, as the season was a TEAM effort. Lu had to face goon players that were being rewarded for their injury-producing hits on his D. There is a huge difference between American goon hockey and Canadian finesse hockey. And (to quote Alain) ‘at the end of the day,’ I’d rather be me – and with Lu.

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  28. Robb
    June 18, 2011

    Haven’t read any other comments, simply want to say that perhaps the reason the Canucks only scored 8 goals is because they couldn’t raise themselves to bail Luongo out anymore time. He’s not an elite goal, he’s not a Roy, or Brodeur, etc. He’s an okay goalie backstopping a great team. Non-the-less, we’re stuck with him so here’s an idea, make him compete with Cory next year for the #1 position. Thomas lost the top job after winning the Vezina and comes back to win the Cup, the Conn Smythe, and probably the Vezina again. Who cares about what we’re paying him, we have to do that anyway, make him compete, it’s not by devine right that he’s #1!!!!

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  29. Mark Sakai
    June 18, 2011

    Reading PITB is the diametric opposite of reading horrible eastern-bias Canuck-hating “columnists” like Damien Cox. Rational, call-it-like-it-is commentary, without the knee-jerk reactionary bluster is exactly what we heartbroken Canucks fans need right now. Not the finger-wagging, holier-than-thou drivel coming from the Centre of the Universe.

    You guys are putting those hacks to shame, and good on you for doing so!

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  30. J21
    June 18, 2011

    The only lost game in the Finals where Luongo’s performance actually made a difference was Game 6. I think the Canucks, even in their banged up state, could have won a road game if they scored first and came out strong and darn well almost did it.

    But the two soft goals so close together and so early on absolutely killed that game.

    I took no issue with his performance in Game 7, and Games 3 and 4 were basically a lost cause no matter what happened.

    A Cup-calibre team should easily be good enough to win with Roberto Luongo. The idea that he’d be holding the Canucks back is selling the team way short, let alone him.

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  31. Dane Gliesak
    June 19, 2011

    Luongo is a very good tender, but to insinuate that he is of the same caliber as Tim Thomas is a stretch. You cannot really compare the two, side by side, and suggest equality. Luongo had the best team in the league in front of him, Thomas did not. Luongo got shelled once or twice in every series, Thomas did not. In the final, Luongo’s GAA was through the roof (and over 8.0 on the road), where Thomas was as steady as ever.

    No, Luongo should not be traded.

    But no, he is not even close to being the goalie that Thomas is.

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  32. Andrew Fleming
    June 19, 2011

    Even if Luongo had won Game 7, there would probably still be so-called fans complaining he somehow didn’t do it “clutch-ily” enough.

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    • Julia
      June 19, 2011

      100% agree. I think he could have posted 4 straight shutouts and people would find someone else (solid defensive pairings, excellent offence, etc) to praise for the wins.

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  33. Glenn
    June 20, 2011

    Do you think the Canucks are better off with:
    - Luongo, or
    - Schneider + another player with a $4.4 million cap hit?

    Those are really the two scenarios that should be debated for next year. I don’t think there’s much dropoff with Schneider, plus you get more consistency. And with the extra cap space, the Canucks can sign a top-six forward. (I would go after Brooks Laich.)

    To me it’s not a question of if the Canucks *can* win a Stanley Cup with Luongo, because I would answer “yes” to that question. It’s more a question of which scenario gives the Canucks the *best chance* to win a Stanley Cup.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      June 20, 2011

      Luongo. That nice little cap hit you’re getting with Schneider lasts for one more season and he hasn’t shown that he can be a consistent number one goalie yet. That’s a huge risk. With Luongo you have one of the best goalies in the NHL who has shown remarkable consistency from season to season for a reasonable cap hit for years to come. There are out clauses in that contract that will allow the team to trade him down the road, but for now he is the best option for the team.

      People keep treating Schneider like he’s a known quantity that carries no risk factor. It just isn’t so. He’s a great goalie, but he hasn’t proven anything at the NHL level yet. All that he has shown is that he can be a fantastic backup goalie. Backups generally get easier starts in lower pressure situations than a number one. If, say, all goes according to your plan: the Canucks trade Luongo and make Schneider the number one and they use the cap space to sign a top-six forward. Schneider excels as the number one goalie. The forward performs well. That doesn’t guarantee a Stanley Cup; nothing guarantees a Stanley Cup. And now you have to re-sign Schneider, but have no capspace because you used it to sign your top-six forward. You now need to get rid of a forward or two to create capspace. And, you have no guarantees that Schneider will be able to continue performing well from season to season. Look at Steve Mason for an example.

      This is, of course, assuming that Schneider can perform as well as Luongo in a number one role. I’m not convinced he can yet. Instead, you go with the known quantity who has proven himself year after year to be one of the best goalies in the NHL.

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  34. fletch
    June 20, 2011

    Not sure how Tim Thomas overcame his playoff demons versus the Flyers considering Rask was in goal for the Bruins last year. Not the issue though. You can spout off statistics all you want. The fact is, Luongo’s been ventilated during the last three series in which the Canucks have been eliminated. To act as if there’s nothing to debate here is ridiculous. Everyone questioning Luongo isn’t crazy. The media isn’t on some sort of mission to discredit the guy. There are serious concerns about his ability to play in the most stressful situations. Sure, he’s come through before, winning gold at the Olympics. Game 7 against the Hawks was big, too. But the number of times he’s not only lost, but lost in spectacular fashion, is worth talking about.

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