(Do not use “the boys are back in town” as a lede. Do not use “the boys are back in town as a lede. Do NOT use “the boys are back in town as a lede. DO NOT use “the boys are back in town as a lede.)
The boys are back in town.
With the lockout over and the Canucks’ season slated to begin January 19 at home versus the Anaheim Ducks, the roster has reassembled for a brief training camp. And, since Roberto Luongo remains on said roster, he too has had to return to Vancouver.
He did so Thursday afternoon, arriving to an airport welcoming party of reporters looking to grill him on the awkward situation. (But the most awkward situation came during the scrum, when Jason Botchford asked, “Do you think it’s been a distraction at all?” and Luongo responded, “We’ve been in a lockout, so…. in regards to what?” Awkward.)
Now, while Luongo is here for the moment, he isn’t expected to be here long. But he might be. After all, who knows with Mike “Patience is a virtue” Gillis? And if he is here for awhile yet, Luongo is willing to accept that (not that he has a choice). “Whether it’s a couple of days, a week, two weeks or the end of the season, I’m totally fine with it,” he said.
Luongo’s secret to serenity? He’s not even counting this as a real season. No, he’s approaching the shortened 2013 campaign more like a certain international tournament he won once. From the Vancouver Sun:
“Given it’s a short season and we’re playing a lot of hockey, I’m just kind of approaching it like it’s the Olympics.
“I’m just going to show up, have fun and enjoy the game and whatever happens happens. I’m not going to stress myself out about the trade or how many games I’m going to play. I’m just going to enjoy it. Last time (at the Olympics), things worked out pretty well for me.”
What an interesting quote.
It makes sense. Like the Olympics, Luongo is in Vancouver for a brief run in a temporary situation. But there’s another aspect to Luongo’s description of this season that we need to explore:
Luongo’s stint with Team Canada was particularly memorable not just because his team won the gold medal, but because they won it with him in net. Martin Brodeur was supposed to be the guy in that tournament, but after a few shaky starts, coach Mike Babcock made the switch.
Thus, if Luongo is planning to relive the Olympics, that means usurping the starter’s role from the expected number one. And when Luongo says he’s planning to approach this season like it’s the Olympics, that really means… I’M COMING TO STEAL YOUR JOB, CORY SCHNEIDER.
This was a challenge. A veiled threat, even. Luongo may as well have dragged his thumb across his neck and made a cutting sound. It’s on. It is so on.Tags: controversy, goaltending controversy, Roberto Luongo, We might be kidding