Courage Luongo’s Word

Luongo

He had been called out by head coach Alain Vigneault on Tuesday following practice, he got agitated with reporters following today’s game-day skate and was the focal point of scrutiny after winning just once in the Canucks last seven games.

Even after all that, and two suspect goals tonight against the St. Louis Blues, the Canucks savior Roberto Luongo delivered a courageous performance as Vancouver beat the Blues 3-2 in a shootout.

The Blues opened the scoring in the first period as a D.J. King backhand found room through Luongo’s five-hole on a shot that the Canucks best player should have had. 

Brad Boyes notched his 28th goal of the season in the second period on a power play, another shot that Luongo probably should have stopped.

After that, Luongo settled back in. The true character of an athlete can be tested by how much adversity one faces over a period of time and then battling and fighting to find a way to overcome adversity. 

That is what Luongo, and his team did tonight.  The Canucks battled, and they were led by the man that the entire Canucks organization has deemed the best player on this team. 

Luongo, who will fly home to Florida after tonight’s game to be with his wife during the NHL All-Star break, did the job that he is counted on to do.  He kept Vancouver in the game when St. Louis was applying the pressure.  The biggest save of the night came in the third period with the score tied at 2-2.  After making the first save off of an Andy MacDonald wrist shot in the slot, Luongo kicked out his left pad to stop the rebound on Boyes, who had a wide open net. 

The crowd applauded furiously and the infamous ‘Louuuuu’ went on for at least 30 seconds while the play carried on up the ice.

Vigneault

Has Luongo been at his best the past few games?  No, and he will tell you that.  Has Luongo played poorly the past few weeks?  Not at all.  He has been good, but not great.  The Canucks, as Vigneault alluded to yesterday, need him to be great.  What should be pointed out is that teammates need to be there to pick each other up, something that had been absent during the Canucks recent struggles over the last seven games.

Luongo, as he did all of last season and through a majority of this season, has picked up the slack for his teammates.  Without him, the Canucks might be hiring John Ferguson Jr. to take over as general manager from Dave Nonis. 

What Luongo needed from his teammates over the past two weeks, is for his team to pick up his slack.  Louie wasn’t playing well, but neither was the team and their record in the last seven games illustrates that.  Tonight, was a team effort.  Luongo did his part by making the big save when the Canucks needed it and his team responded by tying the game up and then winning in the shootout.

Can the Canucks improve on this game?  Yes, you never stop improving until you are crowned Stanley Cup Champions in June, and then the process begins all over again in September when training camp begins.

Tonight was not a stylish win, but it shows a lot of positive signs that this team isn’t going to role over in the face of adversity.

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One Response

  1. Good post!

    I’ve been concerned about Louie. He’s been streaky this year. But regardless, I think it’s certainly a good sign that he’s persevering!

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