I had noted with fascination that Robert Luongo, apparently on the trading block now for nearly a year, began the abbreviated season very much out of character. His typically slow starts were a distant memory with league leading stats in goals against, save percentage and number two in shutouts. He did not have the wins column due to sharing games with the back up, or starter. I don’t think the Canucks even know if the Montreal native has regained number one at this point.
Then on Sunday against Detroit in a game that at the outset looked as though the Canucks would fill the net, the opposite happened. When it was all over, eight goals found there way past a struggling Roberto. Up to that point, he had only let in 13 in all year. What is most shocking though is why he wasn’t yanked after one or two goals. I mean even the Detroit announcers could see very early on that Roberto was fighting the puck as can happen with any goalie from time to time.
Vigneault clearly has trouble perceiving the game in real time just as he did back when his lack of vision cost the Canucks the Cup. Evidently he has not learned anything from that episode where he had a free pass to play Schneider in Boston in game 6 but refused to go with the obvious. Had he done that, the Canucks would have probably won in six but I digress.
Luongo just went from first rank to 10th in one game with his goals against average plummeting from 1.45 to 2.11 and save percentage shaving off 35 basis points falling all the way to .916 from .941 which had been second overall heading into Sunday’s game. Is that a record of some sort? Has to be I would think.
This episode is reminiscent of Roy in Montreal when he played his last game as a Hab because the coach refused to pull him as he was getting killed in net. He took control, pulled himself, told the coach to f-off then told ownership, sitting right behind the bench, he was done with the Habs and so it was. I guess that is the difference between Luongo and Roy. Luongo pretends to call the shots but Roy did and then won another Cup with Colorado.
It is time for Luongo to get out of Canuckville or simply demand to be reinstated as number one. Before Sunday it probably didn’t matter but the coach leaving him in like that was an insult if there ever was one.