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 —›
Considering the unsightly (but damned catchy!) shenanigans I got up to during the lockout, I had hoped to steer clear of yoga pants for a little while. But alas, just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
You’re looking at the window display of the Metrotown Lululemon, otherwise knows as Yoga Pants Mecca (seriously, all the yoga studios in Vancouver face it). And no, that isn’t a typo. The sign has a few extra U’s, which we’re going to assume is intentional. Take a better look at it.Continue Reading —›
They may well have been the silent majority in the past, but the seeming inevitability of a trade has brought the Roberto Luongo fans out of the woodwork. It feels like we’ve seen more ardent defence of the Canucks netminder in the past eight months than in his previous four seasons combined.
The long, drawn-out nature of the lockout has only made things harder for Luongo fans, like slowly peeling off a band-aid from a particularly hairy part of the leg. Just ripping it off in one motion is preferable: it hurts more in the moment, but the pain fades over time. Now Luongo might stay with the team for the entire season, with the expectation that he’ll be gone in the summer, which is somehow even worse. Imagine an entire season of Luongo showing Canucks fans exactly what they love about him, all the while knowing that he won’t be staying.
That’s what makes this tribute video by YouTube user RanaTA87 so appropriate. It shows Luongo in both his moments of despair and his moments of glory, his triumphs and his tragedies. Set to “One Love” by U2, it is simultaneously painfully melodramatic and just melodramatic enough.Continue Reading —›
Roberto Luongo has said a few times now — in multiple languages, at that — that he’s approaching this season like he approached the 2010 Olympics. We’ve already covered and sensationalized the nefarious undercurrent of this mindset, but on Monday night, in an interview with Ren Lavoie of French-language broadcaster RDS, the primary implication became even clearer.
“I’m willing to stay here this season because it will be short,” Luongo said, albeit in French. “But I don’t want to stay here long term.”
Luongo was quick to clarify to us that translating this quote to English transformed it into something a little more brusque than he intended. “That was taken a bit out of context,” he explained. “I said, ‘given what’s happened I don’t see myself being here long term.’ Didn’t want to make it sound like ‘Get me out of here’.
In other words, he didn’t intend to give the impression that he’s clamouring to leave. That said, given all that’s gone down, it was clear that he views his time in Vancouver as a temporary stay. He’s willing to be patient, even to the point of sticking around for the rest of the year, but he expects this chapter in his life to come to an end at some point in the near future.
As for when that day will come, however, who has any earthly clue?Continue Reading —›
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.Continue Reading —›
Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few topics that deserve mention.Continue Reading —›
If you’ve been easing yourself back into Canucks coverage, there’s a good possibility you’ve missed something amidst the batcrap insanity that this Roberto Luongo storyline has managed to become. Yes, we’ve only been back since Sunday, but there have already been so many developments in this Snakes-and-Ladders saga that keeping track of everything is next to impossible.
It began the moment the new CBA was announced. Immediately, hockey fans and media washed their hands of that unfortunate diversion and picked right back up where we left off: speculating tirelessly on Roberto Luongo’s next destination. And I do mean tirelessly. We’ve heard a lot about the soon-to-be-announced compressed schedule, but the real story of this week has been the compressed baseless speculation. In what can only be interpreted as a collective bid by the hockey world to make up for lost wasted time, these last five days have been like an episode of American Horror Story: flashbacks; flash forwards; nuns possessed by Satan; Nazi doctors; a murderer that wears a mask made of human skin; Adam Levine; aliens; zombies; a psychotic Santa; a woman that thinks she’s Anne Frank.
All of these things and Tyler Bozak have been rumoured to be part of a package for Luongo.Continue Reading —›
When the new CBA finally gets ratified this weekend, it will reportedly include two compliance buyouts in the 2013 or 2014 off-seasons. These buyouts are designed to help teams get under the new, lower salary caps for the following seasons. The cap in 2013-14 will apparently be $64.3 million, a drop of $5.9 million from the current cap, which would potentially present a problem for those teams that spend to the cap.
Such as, for instance, the Vancouver Canucks. As is, the Canucks still have a bit of room under the revised salary cap, but have several UFAs to re-sign, the biggest being Alex Edler. The buyouts in the new CBA would give the Canucks some options for creating the necessary cap space for Edler’s raise, as well as giving them an out on any contracts that they might regret.
This brings me to something I can’t believe I actually need to say: Roberto Luongo will not be one of those buyouts.Continue Reading —›