Season Wrap Up – Missing Since April 21st: Roberto Luongo
I’ve defended Luongo all season. There are people that are saying that I’m completely out of line for what you’re about to read, there are people saying that were it not for Luongo, we would never have gotten where we were. There are people that say it was the defences fault and that he is not to blame.
When the regular season is done, it’s gone. What happens in the regular season means nothing. It’s over. Don’t believe me? Look at the San Jose Sharks. Slam dunk case. ln an elimination game, all stats go out the window. Nothing matters but the final score. It doesnt matter how Luongo played to get to where we were, all that mattered was how he played in Game 6.
I’ve seen the tears before. We saw the tears from him when he cost us the elimination Game 6 against the Ducks, we saw the tears when we missed the post season and he blamed himself last year, and again we see the tears this year when he blames himself for letting in 7 goals. Count it – 7 goals. What gives me the right to come down on him? The fact that he spited Canucks fans by strongly implying he wouldn’t resign with us when his contract was up because we weren’t a contender.
“I think we have a team with a chance to win the Cup. At the end of the day, the only thing that’s going to enter my mind for the [contract] decision is winning. That’s why I play. I’ve played 10 years in this league and haven’t had much success. I think I’m deserving of having a chance to win the Cup, and hopefully that comes with Vancouver.”
The fact that when the game that mattered most came around, he was no where to be seen. When everything is on the line, you need your best players to be your best players. There’s no doubt that everyone came to play last night, except Luongo. He was fantastic in the first 5, maybe 10 minutes. After that it’s like Cloutier was back in net. The Canucks upped their shot totals, they had their powerplay click, their penalty kill was alright, and on a night where they managed to fix most of the problems they’d been having all series, the one part of their game which was usually their cornerstone, collapsed.
At the end of the day I’m not in Luongo’s head. I don’t know what was going on, and why he came up with the performance he did. He was inconsistent all series, and certainly didn’t live up to the billing he earned in the first round and the second half of the regular season. The man who’s supposed to be our captain, the man who’s supposed to be our leader and come through in the clutch picked a horrible time to have his worst game of the entire 82 game regular season and their 10 game post season. Dont give me the “He’s human, he makes mistakes and has bad games too excuse.” Nobody makes those mistakes with their backs against the wall.