Tag Archives: Roberto Luongo

Game 7 – 2 Girls, No Cup

16 Jun

 


The Counting your Chickens award goes to….

“If we win,” predicted Kesler, the Canucks’ assistant captain, “then we’re legends”.  No word yet on what Kesler is now.

A Touch of Class

Alexander Burrows really let down the side (and Vancouver fans in general) with a blind-side head shot on Rich Peverley with about 5 minutes left in the game.  Peverley seemed to be unaffected by it, which is lucky for him (and Burrows), as I can’t imagine what it would feel like to listen to your teammates celebrate a Stanley Cup while you’re being checked by a doctor for a concussion.

I doubt a suspension will come of it because it’s the last game of the season and there’s so much else going on right now, but if ever there was a suspend-able hit, that would be it.

Pullongo!

Why keep playing Luongo going into the third?  He’s not playing well, your team is down 3 – 0 and obviously needs something to get them going.  Did Vigneault really believe his team was going to turn it on by themselves?  As a coach sometimes you need to shake your players back into the game, Vancouver just kept rolling the same game plan even when it became obvious it wasn’t working.

Recchi

One of the things I’ve grown to dislike in the “new NHL” is how powerful youth has become.  It’s getting harder and harder for older players to compete with the speed and power of today’s youth.

With that in mind, how awesome is Mark Recchi?  At 5-foot-nothing, and 43 years old, he’s still out there schooling younger, stronger, faster men, in the most difficult hockey tournament in the world.  Laying out fools and leading the final round in scoring, Recchi didn’t look out of place for a second.

Boston Bruins Cup Celebration

Pumping Tires

People are actually asking what will happen with Roberto in Vancouver in light of  his recent failures and his hefty contract, but I can’t imagine much. The guy backstopped you to a record setting season and then to game 7 of the finals, while getting nominated for the Vezina, hard to fire a guy for that, even if he didn’t play well at the end.

Hodgson

Could Cody Hodgson have helped out the Canucks in those final games?  I know a lot of people hate the shoulda coulda’s of hindsight, it must be hard for Canuck fans to see Tyler Seguin taking a regular shift and providing some spark from time to time while your team is struggling to get anything going offensively and your own wunderkind sits in the stands.

Vancouver Riots

Meh, more on this later.

2 Girls No Cup

Vancouver fan or not, that’s pretty funny.  NOTE: A friend sent me that picture, sorry I can’t credit the creator (send me a note if you know who it is).

 

7th Heaven! Lose-ongo!! No Doubting Thomas!!!!!!! STANLEY CUP PUNS!!!!!!!!!!

16 Jun

Tim Thomas lifts the Stanley Cup

I’m not a huge fan of hockey cliche’s but, in the end, the Boston Bruins just wanted it more.  From rookie Brad Marchand (2 goals, 1 assist in game 7) to 43 year old walking museum exhibit, Mark Recchi (7 points in the finals, +3 in game 7) to the oldest player to ever win the Conn Smythe, Tim Thomas, the Boston Bruins outhustled, outprepared, outworked and generally outplayed the Vancouver Canucks in game 7, which is a shame, because whether your a Boston or Vancouver fan, I think you wanted to see a tighter game than 4 – 0.

Luongo v. Thomas

If this was indeed the game and series that will define Roberto Luongo’s career, it’s going to be a long summer.  Not only was he beaten for three while watching his counterpart put up a shutout, he let in a goal mimicking the type of goal he famously claimed would be “an easy save for me” for the second goal of the game, and then showed a complete lack of determination on a Patrice Bergeron semi-breakaway for the back-breaking third goal of the game.

Throwing Vancouver’s performance into sharp contrast was an incredibly focused and determined Boston Bruins defence anchored by a very confident Tim Thomas.  Thomas ended his Conn Smythe award winning payoffs with a shutout on the road against the highest scoring team in the league, hard to beat that.

Disappearing Act?

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler combined to be a -10 tonight.  Kesler didn’t have a point in the series.   I’m sure we’ll find out about some injuries in the next couple of days, but it’s hard to win with those numbers.

The Horton Effect – Also known as the opposite of the Krejci effect.

When you have deep, balanced scoring like the Bruins, you can take what should be a devastating blow, like the hit to Nathan Horton, turn it into a motivator and continue to be successful.  The Bruins staff obviously did a great job of that.

 

I’ll have more of my trademark bullet point analysis tomorrow.  For now, I have to prepare for the long dark of the off-season.

There Can Be Only On*AAAHH* HE BIT MY FINGER!!!

15 Jun

Patrice Bergeron and Alexander Burrows

It’s hard to believe I have to work hard just to come up with a post about Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals….but…here we are.  I realized last night that the second you decide that you’re not going to write about Roberto Luongo, you’re almost out of stories.  At least that’s what the lamestream media would have you believe.   It turns out, surprisingly, that you can’t make it to the last game of the season without having a couple of interesting storylines.  And so…this is the story…of those stories…

– I heard a professional hockey analyst describe these finals, without any sense of irony, as “classic” because “it’s not like any other finals I’ve ever seen”.  So there you have it, these finals…classic-ly un-classic.

– 43 year old Mark Recchi is tied for the scoring lead in the finals.  If Boston wins you have to think he retires, but what if they lose?

– Vancouver is either a really fucking good hockey team or a really fucking lucky one.  Like it or not, they’ve made it to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals with a goalie who’s been pulled 4 times (I know it’s technically only 3, but I count an 8-0 game as a pulling) and a minus rating as a team! Imagine how good you have to be, to be outscored and still win.

Bodog has 5 to 1 odds that Luongo gets pulled tonight.

– Downgoesbrown has a great deconstruction of the run each of these teams had to put together that, for me, really highlights the idiocy of cheering for a jersey on any serious level.

Question of the Day: “Should a team that’s fallen so short on so many levels -biggame production, personal comportment, class -and which is (so we hear) unloved by many in the Rest of Canada be given the hero treatment if they rebound from their Boston embarrassments and win tonight?”

Answer of the Day: “No.”

– Let us pray, that in a year full of idiotic gestures and acts, this game isn’t decided based on a ridiculously stupid play by a ridiculously stupid player on one side or the other.  On the other hand…maybe it would be a perfect ending, it wouldn’t be the first time the Hockey Gods have shown us the error of our ways.

– I’ve never heard so many hockey fans talk about how they just want the season to be over.  To all those fans…I would have them be reminded of this.

That’s it, I’m out of here. Go Hockey Team!!

The Luongo Dilemna Pt. 3 – Return of 7uongo

14 Jun

Luongo sitting on the bench

Another game at the Gardens, another absolute pounding of Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks.  The game is two periods deep and the Stanley Cup is already on Kayak.com looking for a cheap flight back to Vancouver.  So, in honour of Luongo’s piss-poor showing tonight, I’m concluding my acclaimed “Luongo Dilemna” trilogy with a debate on the merits of playing or pulling Bobby Lou in game 7.

PULL HIM!!

– Assuming Luongo plays (and doesn’t get pulled) he’ll have been pulled in 2 of 7, and should have been pulled in 3 of 7 games. If the series was only 6 games long he would have been pulled in 50% of the games!

– At the Garden, Luongo has allowed 18 goals and posted a dismal .773 save percentage. (source)

– The three games that the Canucks have won have all been by one goal, so your margin of error is very, very slim here.

Schneider has been solid in every game he’s played, and that’s coming off the bench cold.  Give the kid a chance to warm up and watch him shine.

– The Vancouver players cannot have any confidence in him at this point. This is the third time people are debating whether or not to play him. That has to weigh on you eventually doesn’t it?

PLAY HIM!!

He’s your #1 goalie, if you lose with him, it’s his fault, if you lose with without him, it’s your fault.

– He’s making what, 25 million this year? Schneider gets paid in bus passes.

– Luongo has been hot at home with two shutouts in three games, it’s hard to argue with that.

– The guy is a Vezina finalist and Olympic gold medal winner, he’ll pull it together.

VERDICT

You really have to play him, but my god, if Boston scores first (or within the first ten shots, or gets any goal that could be considered weak) you pull him and pull him fast.

The More you Know….

– Vancouver captain, first line centre and reigning NHL MVP, has a single point in this series. And people give Lebron a hard time.

– Win or lose, Boston will likely end the series with twice as many goals as Vancouver.

– Brad Marchand treating Daniel Sedin’s head like a speedbag is one of the funniest and saddest things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen Requiem for a Dream.

– Regardless of what happens in game 7, Thomas has virtually locked up the Conn Smythe.

– Ex-Vancouver Canuck captain and current Vezina finalist, Roberto Luongo, has two shutouts and has been pulled twice…all in 6 games.

-The four goals against in four minutes and 14 seconds scored against Luongo in game 6 is a Stanley Cup final record.

See you for Game 7, in the meantime…enjoy this….

Alexander Burrows dives when hit by Milan Lucic

 

Meanwhile…back at the farm…

12 Jun

Whenever the Stanley Cup Finals roll around, it’s easy to get locked into a Finals-centric hockey world.  But one must remember, while the best of the East and West fight it out for the “Stanley-Cup-Cliche-Here”, 28 other teams are trying to make the changes required to get themselves one step closer to being one of those two teams. So, in honour of those teams…I bring you what is quickly becoming my favourite feature here at The Puck, “Meanwhile…back at the farm…

The Flyers Get (the rights to) their Man

Earlier in the week it was announced that that Flyers had acquired the negotiating rights to Phoenix Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.  Flyers fans seem to be of two minds on this one; on the one hand, they may finally have themselves a legitimate top-flight goaltender, on the other hand, Bryz is going to cost them dearly and he has no playoff success under his belt. Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) has a great piece about how Ilya is holding all the cards in this negotiation and could really take the Flyers to the cleaners.  This, of course, is bad news for Flyers fans everywhere, but good news for Ville Leino’s real estate agent.

Personally, I don’t think this is the answer for the Flyers.  I know the fans and ownership are clamoring for a top-tier goaltender, but now is not the time to lose one’s cool and trade away some proven talent (Leino, Carter, Carle, etc) for a guy you can’t promise will give you a solid performance next year. I’d sit on Bobrovski, see what he can do in the early parts of next season and look for a trade if he doesn’t perform.

James Reimer was signed to a…oh who am I kidding…nobody cares about that right now…back to the Finals!

Aaron Rome confused English majors, logic students, and ethicists everywhere when he said in an interview that; he was sorry that Horton was hurt, he is upset that he was suspended four games, that the play was admittedly “a little over the edge”, and that, if he could do it all over again, he would.

It’s shocking that Horton hasn’t returned Rome’s apology texts.

I didn’t realize it was my job to correct Luongo’s grammar.

Pumping someone’s tires” isn’t an expression, Roberto. At least not one I’ve ever heard of (or can find on the internet). Also, if it were to become an expression, I have a feeling it wouldn’t mean what you’re using it to mean.

Home on the Rage

There are shifts when watching the Vancouver Canucks is like watching a team full of Pete Rose’s, and they’re all trying to steal third.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the trash talk and I love the hate in this series, but I can’t stand the diving.  I’d rather a player be dirty than dive-y, at least the dirtiness has a sense of honesty to it.  (It’s very difficult for me to pretend I didn’t slash you on the ankle.)  Diving on the other-hand is for cowards, pretending to be hurt/sick is what children do to get what they want and it’s what we deride in other sports.  More importantly, while we call it unsportsmanlike, it’s really un-hockeylike.  So cut it the fuck out Vancouver, and you may just have a chance to become “Canada’s team”…if only for a year.

Also, I only used that title because it fits in with the whole Back on the Farm motif.

Peace.

 

 

The Luongo Dilemna Pt. 2 – Electric Boogaloo

9 Jun

Roberto Luongo Gets Scored On

Back in the first round I wrote an article called “The Luongo Dilemna” talking about what the Vancouver Canucks organization needed to consider heading into game 7 against the Blackhawks, including whether or not to pull Luongo…we’ll, a few weeks later and who thought we would be here again!  After another one-sided loss to the Bruins, people are talking about Luongo, and what to do with him.  As usual, a couple of thoughts.

1 – You play Luongo, it’s absurd to talk about not playing him in the next game.  First of all, the game’s in Van-city, where Luongo’s numbers have been great. Second of all, your team has scored one goal in two games, so it doesn’t really matter how well your goalie plays….which leads me to….

2 – The Canucks are being completely outplayed right now. Completely.  Not only are Boston’s top players beating Vancouver’s top players.  But Boston’s pests are completely outplaying Vancouver’s pests.  Think about it, what’s Burrows remembered for right now? Biting someone’s finger?  Why’s everyone talking about Brad Marchand? He’s treating the Sedins like they’re his kid brothers and is busy scoring short-handed goals and playing like this

3 – The Bruins scored 4 goals on Bobby Orr night and 8 on Cam Neely night! Apparently they’ve already put in a call to Andy Moog for game 6.  Vancouver shows just how out of it they are right now and brings in Kirk Mclean for game 5.

Andy Moog Covering a puck

Andy Moog was contacted after the Bruins thought it might be a bit arrogant to go with Ray Bourque night.

4 – Boston has outscored the Canucks 12 – 1 in the last two games, a record for the Stanley Cup finals.

5 – Henrik Sedin is pointless in this series and had his first shot on net in game 4!!

6 – The Canucks need to man up and stop with the childish chippy bullshit.  Having Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows lay a couple of slashes and then run and hide only makes the Bruins more angry and more confident.

7 – The fans at the Rogers Centre in BC actually cheered when Luongo was pulled.  When asked about it after the game, Luongo gave the old “next question”. That has to hurt.

8 – Tim Thomas is quickly becoming my favourite hockey player. How can you not love this guy? In the last two games, at home, in the Stanley Cup finals, he’s let in one goal and has one fight and one hit.

The Luongo Dilemna

25 Apr

Luongo Beachball
When the decision to play Cory Schneider was announced last night, most people were asking themselves “what happens if Vancouver loses?”, but the I think the far more important/intersting question is “what happens if Vancouver loses and Schneider plays really well?”. It’s Schneider’s solid play (minus a few puck handling gaffes) that has everyone wondering what will happen next. There are a few things that Canucks coach Alain Vigneault needs to consider…

1 – As goes this series, so goes your job….most likely. You lose this series and the public pressure (which is huge this year may just be too much for you to keep your job.
2 – The “Live with your best, die with best” theory. It’s hard to blame a coach for playing a goalie that’s being nominated for the Vezina. It also takes a lot of pressure off the shoulders of the coach, as you don’t have to actually make a choice, you can just spout a cliche….while you’re looking for another job.

3 – How does Luongo feel knowing that you didn’t have enough confidence in him to play him in the last game? How awkward is that team lunch going to be!? Luongo has always struck me as a…. temperamental player, how will he feel about working with Alain Vigneault in the future?
4 – Whatever logic you used to decide to start Schneider in game 6, how could it not apply to game 7? What WERE you thinking? Chicago is in the head of Luongo? The Canuck players have lost confidence in their goalie? You’re getting pressure from management/fans (unlikely)? Whatever it is, it still applies; Luongo isn’t going to suddenly gain his confidence back, nor are his teammates going to start believing he can win against this team.

Of course, none of this matters if Vancouver wins it’s next game (except for NHL’s marketing department of course). Funny that.

Winners and Losers

10 Apr

Stanley Cup Playoffs

Winners

Philadelphia

If anyone should know about being wary of a team that’s sneaking into the playoffs it’s the Flyers, but Buffalo simply is not the team they’ve been over the past few years, they should give the Flyers a chance to get their playoff legs under them. Miller could steal a game or two but that’s only going to get you so far against a team with 8, 19 goal men.

3M

Hospital supply companies are about to see a serious spike in sales of stitches, icepacks, smelling salts, bandages, icy-hot, etc, etc, etc.

Flyers Goaltending

Roman Cechmanek doing his best to make sure the puck doesn't hit him.

Mediocre Goaltenders

Fast dissolving is the myth that you need a great goalie to be a Stanley Cup winner. The Lower-End Goalie Union looks poised to take another big bump this year with a handful of teams looking to make deep runs on the backs of card-carrying LEGU members. The Sharks, Lightning, Ducks and Capitals will all start the postseason doing their best Philadelphia Flyers impression by going into the playoffs with goaltending that is questionable at best. Hell, even gold medal winning, Stanley Cup favourite, Roberto Luongo is being questioned. And the Flyers themselves? Well the Flyers are being the Flyers.

California and California North

Kings, Sharks and Ducks make it into the playoffs together for the first time ever with Vancouver leading almost all bookies as the team to beat. All due respect to the Great One, but there’s never been a better time to be a hockey fan on the left side of the country.

Ghosts of Playoffs Past/Fans

Who isn’t itching to watch Habs v. Bruins and Chicago v. Vancouver? I’d like to think even Vancouver wanted a chance to exorcise those demons.

Goalie Fight

 

Losers

Chicago

With the season on the line, playing at home, the defending Stanley Cup champs couldn’t get the job done. The playoffs are better with the Blackhawks in but you have to earn it, from both a management and player perspective, and they haven’t done that in the past calendar year.

Anyone over 6’3 hitting anyone under 6’1

Let’s pray we don’t see another series decided because of a flavour of the month rule change. I want to know how Chara can hit Gomez without “targeting the head”.

Habs Fans

Being beaten by your most hated rival is hard enough. Being beaten by your most hated rival who’s captain you recently tried to have arrested is something else altogether. Let’s hope the Montreal police invested in some fireproof cars this year.

Daniel Sedin

You get injured for the first time in your career and have to sit watch your brother become the most valuable player in hockey. So, not to be outdone, you come back from injury, lead the league in points and power play goals and sit among the leaders in goals, +/- and game winning goals all while leading your team to the President’s Trophy and odd’s on Stanley Cup favourites. You do all that, just to see Corey Perry put in a second half performance that all but ensures him the Hart trophy. I’d be inclined to vote for Daniel just for a sense of symmetry.