Usually my posts are in regards to faith or some social issue that’s really hurting me to hear about. Tonight’s is different. For the first time these thoughts are not about my walk with God. Tonight, I’m talking about the Canucks.
Actually Roberto Luongo to be exact. First of all, almost everyone who likes hockey, who like the Canucks, who hates the Canucks or who hates hockey probably has opinion about our goaltending situation, or lack thereof. So while I may say nothing different I just wanted to get my two cents in (and right now, my two cents is still just two cents, in the fall this will be increasing to a solid nickel, which you may not be able to afford, so enjoy this while it lasts).
When I heard that Mr. Luongo had confirmed with the press that he would be open to a trade if that was what the team wanted I was sad. Sad that this player had come to mean this in Vancouver.
For 6 seasons our Luuuuuuuu has been the starting goaltender. He has been part of the team and contributed to the Canucks being President’s Trophy winners. He has helped this team go the playoffs, a lot.
The thing I have liked the least is the people blaming a loss upon the goaltender. Granted, there can be, and there have been games where the performance of the goaltender has directly impacted the result of the game…where the team in front of the net has put on a solid performance but the goalie, being off of his game has meant a loss. More often than not when you get to the glittering NHL level of hockey, a teams loss is chalked up to many more factors than a goaltender.
It’s the fan though who usually blame one player.
I think that it’s terrible the way that Roberto Luongo has been treated this year in Vancouver. Regardless of what you think of him as a player, the vilification of him across social media pages has been nothing short of a witch hunt. Oh the Canucks lost tonight? Must be Luongo’s fault – even if the posting person didn’t even watch the game.
Then there’s been the re-hashing of game 7 from last years Stanley Cup final, that’s gotten an added emphasis to the negative for Luongo. I watched that game, in it’s heartbreaking entirety. If you can blame that single game loss on Luongo, then I’m pretty sure you have never understood hockey, the game, loved it or really ever had your eyes open. If you blame that loss on him, you’re a fool. Plain and simple. I watched that game in disbelief as the it seemed like an ENTIRE team could not get themselves together. To win a game you need to score goals. You think the goaltender should keep a team in it when they can’t get themselves together at the defence or forward lines? NO WAY. Hockey is a team sport. If you’ve only won a game because your goaltender kept you in it, then you have no business playing a league final game.
The thing that upsets me the most if Luongo leaves this year, is that he will leave on such a down note. Ungrateful fans who have turned against a great player (let’s not forget that his save percentage in regular season was better that a certain fastly named Kings goaltender).
If I was the Canucks management I’d probably want to trade Luuu. Not because of his performance, but because of the so-called fan performance. It’s not fair to keep a player playing in such hostile conditions. It’s not fair to a player to have sports headlines in the Vancouver papers constantly evaluating his play after every single save. It’s not fair to pay him what he’s worth to have the selected, noisy, mob leering at him. So in fairness to Luongo, I’d say a trade is the best thing for him.
However, I don’t think that he should be traded because he cannot play the game, or because he’s not good enough. He has proved himself repeatedly. If you had to prove yourself a fan of the Canucks – would you be more consistent than this goalie? hmmm.
Vancouver has a love-hate relationship with their goaltenders. One week everyone is raving about them, the next tearing them apart.
What worries me: the fans that are on the “Trade Luongo Train” will be the same fans who start to tear apart Corey Schnieder. If Luuu is gone, these anti-Luongo “fans” will be chanting their “love Schnieds” poster and rhetoric all over town, until the beloved Schnieder loses a game, or two, or ten, or half a season. Then what happens?