Roberto Luongo showed a great deal of patience this season amidst all the drama of the soap opera in Vancouver’s crease, and yes, it is a soap opera. Recently, Thomas Drance suggested that its long, long, long running time made it more epic than soap, but clearly, the dude needs to brush up on his daytime dramas. “The Young and the Restless” has been running since February 4, 1980, and the feud between Jill Foster Abbott and Katherine Chancellor has been going on for pretty much that entire time.
A rivalry that never seems to end? That sounds about right for this analogy.
Anyway. Like I was saying, apart from a few moments where he seemed on the verge of flipping a table — like, say, just after the trade deadline, which is likely why the Canucks made him do that presser standing up with no table in sight — Luongo has shown some remarkable serenity in the face of a decidedly unserene situation.
But he won’t be doing that again. Funny Bob has no intention of sticking around for another season of The Young Goalie and the Restless Goalie, and in case that wasn’t entirely clear, his Vancouver condo is for sale.Continue Reading —›
The Vancouver Canucks handed out their team awards on Thursday night prior to their lacklustre effort against the Anaheim Ducks. Henrik Sedin took home the Cyrus H. McLean award as the Canucks’ leading scorer and will keep it unless Daniel manages to score 6 points on Saturday against the Oilers without Henrik getting any.
Dan Hamhuis deservedly won the Babe Pratt award for best defenceman, Cory Schneider understandably won the Cyclone Taylor award as the team’s MVP, and Jannik Hansen simultaneously had his praises sung as the team’s Most Exciting Player and was named the team’s unsung hero with the Fred J. Hume award.
That just doesn’t seem like enough awards, so we put together seven more:Continue Reading —›
For much of this season, the primary talking point about the Vancouver Canucks has been the soap opera in their crease, where they have the champagne problem of two number one goalies, and the actual problem of only being allowed to start one at a time.
As a result, it’s been a rough year for Roberto Luongo. The whole thing reached a zenith at the NHL trade deadline when nothing happened, which was, in and of itself, a pretty big happening. You’ll recall an emotional Luongo saying some fairly quotable things about his pernicious contract before taking a deep breath and resigning himself to spending the rest of the season as the backup.
And that’s where Season 1 of The Young Goalie and the Restless Goalie ended, with Season 2 scheduled for the instant the postseason comes to a close, because there couldn’t possibly be another twist in this saga until — hold on, what’s that now?Continue Reading —›
The real story of the trade deadline was the trades that weren’t made, particularly when it came to two big-name goaltenders in the Northwest Division. Both Miikka Kiprusoff and Roberto Luongo were rumoured to be heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs at various points throughout the day. Neither did.
The attitudes of the two goaltenders as rumours swirled couldn’t have been more different. Kiprusoff simply didn’t want to be traded. He might even retire in the off-season. Luongo clearly wanted nothing more than to be traded so that he could start playing hockey again, leading to one of the most honest and blunt press conferences in recent memory.
So why, exactly, didn’t Luongo get traded? Luongo himself seemed to think that it was because of his contract, while Mike Gillis said it wasn’t a stumbling block and that discussions have centred around picks and players. Exactly what picks and players is unclear, though one particular rumour quickly spread after the trade deadline had passed. Darren Dreger initially reported that the Canucks were looking to acquire Ben Scrivens and two second round draft picks in return for Roberto Luongo, a report that was echoed by Pierre LeBrun, Jason Botchford, and Kevin McGran, among others.
Dreger appeared on TSN 1050 on Monday, however, and threw a big ol’ wrench into the works, apparently revealing what the Canucks were originally seeking in a trade with the Leafs and throwing his original report into doubt in the process.Continue Reading —›
Roberto Luongo’s press conference on Wednesday was fascinating, yielding the delightful, and sure to be misinterpreted, soundbite “My contract sucks.” But the more interesting aspect for me came later in the press conference, when he was asked whether he could have made it easier for the Canucks to trade him.
Luongo flatly denied that he was ever asked to waive his no trade clause and never vetoed any trades, contradicting rumours and reports that have been floating around since the 2012 draft that the Canucks had a deal in place with the Maple Leafs, only to have it scuttled by Luongo exercising his contractual right to scuttle it.
It also seemed to contradict what Mike Gillis had to say about 20 minutes later. A closer look at what the two of them actually said and in what context, however, should clear up the contradictions.Continue Reading —›
It wasn’t a terrible NHL trade deadline for the Canucks. After all, they acquired Derek Roy, a skilled player that adds a very important element to their attack: a centre. They really haven’t had one of those all season.
Still, the 2013 trade deadline won’t be remembered in this city for what Mike Gillis did — it will be remembered for what he didn’t do. A big part of that is because he acquired Roy the day before the deadline, which is like giving a child a present on Christmas Eve. It’s exciting, but there had damn well better be something else under the tree on Christmas. But a bigger part is because Roberto Luongo wasn’t traded, leading to the the most indelible moment of the deadline, when Luongo told the world he had a sucky contract. That’ll stay with us, just like Luongo will.
All of this in mind, let’s take a look at the winners and losers of the deadline from a Vancouver perspective.Continue Reading —›
With less than 10 minutes until the trade deadline, Roberto Luongo was called off the ice by Canucks management, leading to rampant speculation that he was about to be traded. It turned out to be a massive false alarm, as the trade deadline came and went without a Luongo trade. In fact, the Canucks didn’t make any trades at the deadline, standing pat with their trade for Derek Roy the day before.
Considering the trade fervour in Vancouver, Luongo was naturally asked to speak to the media after practice and gave one of the most honest and intriguing pressers of all time.
The highlight: when asked why he thinks he hasn’t been traded yet, he chuckled and said, “My contract sucks.”Continue Reading —›
Originally, I considered filing this picture of Roberto Luongo at the Vancouver Canucks’ bench under the “I find this photo odd” feature, but truthfully, I only find the caption odd. According to Getty Images, in this photo, “Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks checks the replay on his iPad during their NHL game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rogers Arena March 26, 2013.”
But that can’t be right. Why would any non-masochistic person replay any portion of Tuesday night’s game? It made Season 1 of Treme look like Season 4 of The Wire, that’s how dry that game was.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks are on a roll, winning four straight. As a result, the team is feeling pretty loose and relaxed. Want proof? After their victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night, three Canucks engaged in an absurd and ridiculously hilarious conversation on Twitter.
We’re used to Roberto Luongo entertaining Canucks fans and the rest of the hockey world with his self-deprecating humour on his no-longer-alleged Twitter account, @strombone1, but on Sunday night Ryan Kesler (@Ryan_Kesler) and Kevin Bieksa (@kbieksa3) joined in on the fun. The three Canucks riffed on Luongo’s hair, for the most part, but couldn’t resist a couple quips on Burrows’ indecipherability and a couple body blows on Kesler’s nude photo.Continue Reading —›
On Wednesday night, James Duthie tweeted out a mysterious picture of Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider posing with a dummy that appeared to have a partially or mostly severed head. If not for the other people milling about in the photo, it would have looked like Luongo and Schneider were deranged serial killers grinning madly after practicing their garrotting techniques.
Instead, it was just a preview of James Duthie’s latest comedic collaboration with Roberto Luongo, which TSN showed at the first intermission of the game between the Canucks and Predators. TSN went behind the scenes and found out that the two goaltenders’ class and professionalism is just a front, revealing just how immature their antics truly get.Continue Reading —›
Just how much more can Cory Schneider take?
Two years after the Canucks used their first round draft pick on Schneider in 2004, Dave Nonis traded for Roberto Luongo. Seven years later and Schneider still hasn’t surpassed Luongo on the depth chart. Nearly nine years ago, he was drafted to be the Canucks’ goaltender of the future and that future still hasn’t quite arrived yet.
It seemed all but certain that Schneider had taken over the Canucks’ net permanently when he was named the starter for game three of the 2012 playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings. Schneider was superb in all three games he played, making 97 saves on 101 shots, including 43 in the Canucks’ only win of the series. Luongo reportedly requested a trade and the speculation on his destination began.
Only, Luongo didn’t go anywhere. And now, after outplaying Schneider so far this season, Luongo looks likely to take back the number one job, or at least 1A, demoting Schneider to the dreaded 1B.
Would anyone be surprised if he just lost it? Actually, it looks like he already has.Continue Reading —›
Last season, Cory Schneider wasn’t just good — he was phenomenal. He finished second in the NHL in save percentage, third in goals against average, and second in winning percentage. Combine that with his previous season, when he finished third in save percentage, fourth in goals against average, and first in winning percentage, along with his solid performance coming into a difficult situation in last year’s playoffs, and it becomes pretty easy to see why everyone thought he was ready to take over the number one job from Roberto Luongo.
So far this season, Schneider has certainly proven that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender, but he’s fallen short of proving that he’s one of the best goaltenders in the league. As we reach the halfway point of the season, it’s clear that Luongo has outplayed Schneider, raising the question of who will get the bulk of the starts over the second half.Continue Reading —›
Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Here are some odd and interesting numbers and statistics from the Canucks season so far.Continue Reading —›
Canucks news comes fast and furious, and sometimes we find ourselves playing catchup. Thankfully, the Dreaded Two Goal Lead – often called “the worst lead in hockey” – is super easy to come back from. Everybody knows it’s a guaranteed death sentence for those that hold it. Well, much like an ice hockey team coming from two goals down, PITB will now effortlessly catch up.Continue Reading —›
Last last month, Alex Burrows wowed everyone with an audacious shootout move versus the LA Kings, attempting a forehand spin-o-rama on Jonathan Quick, followed by a couple of late jukes and a seeing-eye snapshot just inside the post. Of course, it wasn’t “Wow, that was nifty,” so much as “Wow, that was embarrassing.” The move failed completely when Quick refused to bite — ironically — and Burrows wound up looking pretty darn foolish.
It was an eminently mockable move, and the hockey world took full advantage. Even Roberto Luongo joined in on Twitter. On Sunday, however, it was Luongo’s turn to look foolish and get mocked.Continue Reading —›
In sports, the secret to keeping the media off your back is simple: play well. Like, really well. Do that, and there’s really nothing anyone can do to criticize you. Heck, stupid as it sounds, the things you do and say that would otherwise be criticized will probably be held up as a reason you’re succeeding.Continue Reading —›
Roberto Luongo was the guest on Hockey Night in Canada After Hours Saturday night, and as you might have guessed, it was must-watch television.
This interview had three things going for it from the start. First, the Canucks won, so Luongo was guaranteed to be in a good mood. Second, Luongo spent the entire night sitting on the bench, so you know he was ready for a little banter. And third, Scott Oake is notorious for awkwardly asking the questions you’re not supposed to ask. Typically, if he’s been told he’s not supposed to ask something, he just asks it like this: “I know I’m not supposed to ask this, but I have to ask.” It’s super subtle.
Sure enough, it all came together, resulted in what one might argue was the best of many great Canuck performance on After Hours. Watch and enjoy.Continue Reading —›
We hesitate to criticize a Canucks’ player agent, especially considering the clustercuss that happened the last time we did something like that, but one has to wonder what Mike Liut, Cory Schneider’s agent, was thinking Monday when he spoke to Brad Ziemer regarding the situation in the Vancouver crease.
Certainly, this isn’t an ideal situation, but Schneider and Roberto Luongo have both given the impression they’re relatively at ease with it and capable of handling it professionally. “I don’t cry myself to sleep at night, I don’t feel bad for myself, I just have to work hard and be better,” Schneider said at the end of January.
Then Liut spoke up.Continue Reading —›
For a few brief, merciful days, all the talk of a Roberto Luongo trade in the media had been replaced by talk of a goalie controversy in Vancouver. We complained about the hype, questioned what would actually constitute a goalie controversy, and scoffed at how Alain Vigneault giving a world-class goaltender consecutive starts while he’s on a hot streak could even be called controversial.
But really, it was a relief.
For once, we could stop the endless speculation about potential Luongo trade destinations, returns, and whether he would even get traded at all. Instead, we could focus on a rather pleasant problem: which of the Canucks’ two fantastic goaltenders should start each game?
Unfortunately, it couldn’t last. Eventually the rumour mill would start up again; this time around, it was kicked into gear by a visit by Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman to the Verizon Center for a game between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. This, of course, immediately led to speculation from every corner of the media landscape that the Canucks were working on a trade with the Capitals, with Luongo the centrepiece. That included Sports Illustrated, who need to pay closer attention to their photo captions.Continue Reading —›
In an interview with the Vancouver Sun’s Cam Cole back in mid-January, Mike Gillis was candid about the state of his team early in 2013. “The way we were constituted to start this year,” Gillis said, referring to the absence of ice-tilters Ryan Kesler and David Booth, “We just needed to get through this first 2-3 weeks.”
In the same breath, Gillis added, “and neither of our goalies was particularly sharp in the first two games.”
That’s your Rosetta Stone to the Canucks’ current goaltending controversy. Gillis and coach Alain Vigneault know that, without a second line and without all-situation influencer Ryan Kesler, the team isn’t strong enough to win every game on merit and skill. But fortunately, they have two goaltenders capable of making up the difference.
Schneider and Luongo may not have shown it in that first weekend set, but they certainly have since, and when they have, they’ve stayed in goal. It really just makes sense. If someone is stealing you points during a time when you admittedly need points stolen, why would you turn around and start the other guy?
You wouldn’t, and Alain Vigneault hasn’t. Wondering why Luongo is getting his third straight start Friday versus Chicago? For the same reason Schneider got his third straight start Sunday in San Jose. Vigneault is riding the point thief.Continue Reading —›
Throughout the Roberto Luongo trade saga — which appears to have no end in sight, with Luongo starting his third straight game Friday versus the Blackhawks — Mike Gillis has remained impressively stoic. But during a January 18th interview on the Team 1040, Jason Botchford did manage to get the Canucks’ GM’s ire up with a question about whether the Canucks were asking too much for the goalie.
“The notion that we were asking for too much,” Gillis responded, “was floated in the Toronto media by a team that was extremely interested in acquiring Roberto and were using every means possible to try and force us to do something that we didn’t think was right. That’s nothing new in this business and it’s not the type of pressure that I’m going to succumb to.”
So which Toronto media members were aiding the Leafs’ public negotiations? Well, we can’t know for sure, but if you follow Damien Cox on Twitter, tweets like this one or this one certainly seem to point to the Toronto Star columnist pitching in. I’d suspect that Gillis had Cox in mind when he made the statement.
I’d also suspect that Gillis isn’t the only member of the Canucks’ organization that thinks this, especially after Roberto Luongo’s little zinger Wednesday night. Upon encountering Cox in the postgame scrum following his 3-0 shutout of the Avalanche, Luongo interrupted Cox’s question to ask one of his own: “Are you here scouting for the Leafs or what?”Continue Reading —›
Roberto Luongo will start his second game in a row tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, a move that seems to contradict any assertions that Cory Schneider is the number one goaltender for the Canucks. If Alain Vigneault were just riding the hot hand, it would make sense: Luongo has been, objectively speaking, the better goaltender to start the season, posting a .917 save percentage and 2.21 goals against average as compared to Schneider’s .897 and 3.13.
The issue is that Vigneault has claimed that isn’t his strategy. Supposedly, he and Rollie Melanson mapped out the two goaltenders starts well in advance and it’s entirely possible that Luongo was slated to start against the Avalanche right from the start of the season. Accordingly, this wouldn’t be the sign of a goaltending controversy or any indication that the Canucks lack confidence in Schneider.
So what would? How do we know when there actually is a goaltending controversy in Vancouver?Continue Reading —›
It went unnoticed by almost everybody, what with actual hockey being played all weekend, but for a brief moment, all was quiet on the Luongo trade front. It began the moment Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri scored a goal each in the Leafs’ opener and Canuck fans did the math, realized both were on pace for 48-goal seasons, and deduced that Toronto would never trade them now.
Suddenly, all that Funny Bob-to-Toronto chatter went silent. And then the Canucks crapped the bed, so there were more pressing things to speculate about, like whether Roberto Luongo should start the game he was always scheduled to start.
But on Monday night, the Luongo trade frenzy picked right back up when, in an interview with Cam Cole of Pass it to Bulis (and sometimes the Vancouver Sun), Mike Gillis suggested that the team was making some progress in bringing this saga to a close.
“We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have — and it’s not who anybody thinks it is — and so we have to wait,” Gillis said.Continue Reading —›
If you’ve watched a lot of programs with witches (Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, et al), you may be familiar with the concept of the 24-hour spell.
The 24-hour spell is a mystical occurrence, something that happens to drastically change someone’s fate for exactly one day. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but either way, it usually serves to give somebody a special perspective he wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. It could be a body swap. It could be a sudden aging of thirty years. It could be temporary magical powers. Whatever it is, it lasts exactly 24 hours, and then, the moment time is up — zap! — everything switches back to normal (or, in the case of Groundhog Day’s 24-hour spell, it starts over again).
I bring this up because we witnessed a perfectly-timed 24-hour spell this weekend in the Canucks’ crease. You could be upset about how this weekend’s set went. Or you could marvel at the fact that you saw magic happen.Continue Reading —›
Shortly after the NHL lockout ended, the Luongo-to-Toronto action heated up. No trade was made, of course, and with the roster moves the Leafs are currently making, it looks like the deal might be falling apart. But, whether or not this oft-rumoured deal ever actually happens, I think we can all agree that the drama surrounding it has been immensely entertaining, especially in the days surrounding Brian Burke’s firing, which was said to be influenced in some way by the whole Luongo mess. You’d have thought we were watching a movie.
Now it is one, as Down Goes Brown and Bloge Salming have teamed up for yet another comedy video, the brilliant, “Luongo Unchained”. The perfect title alone is worth a click, and I promise everything else lives up to that high standard. This thing is wall-to-wall comedy.Continue Reading —›