Blog Entry

Luongo comes up small again

Posted on: May 12, 2009 1:27 am
Edited on: May 12, 2009 1:29 am
 

A couple of years ago, the Vancouver Canucks were eliminated by Anaheim in the second round of the playoffs because Roberto Luongo got distracted arguing for a penalty call late in the clinching and was beaten for the winning goal.

It was an embarrassing episode, although it was generally forgiven at the time because the veteran goaltender had been a standout in leading the Canucks to the division title that season and was appearing in the playoffs for the first time in his career. But there may not be as much compassion now for Vancouver's franchise player, who is considered by many to be the NHL's best goaltender. Or at least there shouldn't be because the Canucks failed his team in far worse fashion in another elimination game, this time against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I let my teammates down," said Luongo, who has one year left on a contract that pays him $6.75 million a season. "It was pretty wide open but I had to make the saves."

Especially since the Canucks tepid offense provided Luongo with the kind of offensive support it rarely does. The Canucks fired 38 shots at Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin -- two more than they had in the previous two games combined -- and they scored five times which should be enough for a goalie of Luongo's caliber to win.

But after a good start, including a big save on Martin Havlat's breakaway early in the first period, Luongo basically fell apart and ended up with his worst game of the post season. Luongo faced only 30 shots and failed to hold three leads in a 7-5 loss that clinched the second round series for the Blackhawks in six games.

Of course you can credit the Blackhawks explosive offense and its talent for staging comebacks for part of Luongo's problems. The upstart young Chicago team has shown a remarkable ability to come from behind in these playoffs, and usually from deficits much larger than the one goal it had to overcome a couple of times tonight. But with baby faced superstars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews flying all over the place and combining for five goals, the Blackhawks were even more difficult to contain than usual.

"We couldn't keep up," Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin said.

Even so, the Canucks had their chances to send this series back home for a deciding game, particularly in frenetic third period that saw Vancouver take its second lead less than four minutes in and then go ahead for the third time before the 13 minute mark. But that was the last answer the visitors had for the Blackhawks, who erupted for three goals in less than four minutes to keep the franchise's remarkable turnaround season moving forward and send it to the conference final for the first time since 1995.
Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Apr 15, 2009
Posted on: May 15, 2009 6:32 am
 

Luongo comes up small again

itsjustme

"It's a team game, yes. But you won't find even one goalie in the hall  that played for garbage teams"

What about Roy? He carried Montreal to 2 cups; '86 with a team of geriatrics, and '93 with a team full of 3rd liners. Colorado is a different story, where Bobby Clarke helped build one hell of a team, but you get my point. 



itsjustme
Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: May 14, 2009 1:08 pm
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itsjustme
Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: May 14, 2009 11:56 am
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Yeeeeesh
Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: May 13, 2009 9:34 am
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Since: Apr 15, 2009
Posted on: May 13, 2009 6:58 am
 

Luongo comes up small again

Ozzie is this era's Grant Fuhr.



Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: May 12, 2009 11:25 pm
 

Luongo comes up small again

I really dont know how i feel. I think for 1 that he basically took them to the playoffs all by himself so hats off to him for that. But yet again he has fallen apart in the playoffs. I still think that this year he was the best goalie in the NHL down the stretch. I think some people are forgetting that he was awesome in the Blues series and I think that that long break they had between games really threw him off. When it comes down to it though, he had to be better.



Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: May 12, 2009 6:14 pm
 

Luongo comes up small again

I meant well said Ironclad!



Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: May 12, 2009 6:12 pm
 

Luongo comes up small again

Well said! Chicago is an exciting team and they fully deserved the win. Vancouver's defense in the end could not handle them.



Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: May 12, 2009 4:37 pm
 

Luongo comes up small again

All Good Points.

Luongo is a good, maybe very good goalie. The backlash is from the Canadian media telling us he was one of the very best.


Yeeeeesh
Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: May 12, 2009 3:35 pm
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