March 24 2010 10:58AM
Can I haz consistency, Bobbeh Lu? (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Robert Luongo looks to shake off last night's poor performance in Edmonton as he and the Vancouver Canucks return home as they face the Anaheim Ducks tonight at GM Place. Both teams are looking to rebound from losses, and both teams are playing the second half of back-to-back games.
The last time the Canucks lost and then immediately faced a team that also lost, the Canucks beat the Sharks in one of their better games of the year. The Canucks will need an equally strong rebound against the always-tough Anaheim Ducks.
But this is what the Canucks have done all year. Rebound. The Ducks... not so much. The Canucks are 17-7-0 after a loss. The Ducks are 14-11-4. The Canucks are 8-3-1 in game #2 of back-to-back games, while the Ducks are 3-8-3 in the same scenario. Those are two encouraging stats that lean heavily in the Canucks favour.
Despite the Canucks 2 straight losses, they have had a very successful month thus far, going 7-3-2 in March. The problem right now is that they are 1-2-1 in their last four games and Luongo has looked pedestrian, at best, in his three combined losses. In fct you could argue that Luongo has looked skaky for most of this month. He started the month well, with a win in Detroit. After that, Luongo has been pulled twice and has gone 6-3-1. For the month of March, Luongo has let in 29 goals in 10 games, with 4.07 GAA, and has let in 3 goals or more in 6 of those 10 games. He also has a trend of playing well in 1-2 games, then playing poorly in 1-2 games. Back and forth. Back and forth.
There is no consistency in his game right now, and as a result he is hurting the Canucks. There is no better evidence of that than last night's game. If Luongo is the type of goalie that needs to play every game, let him play. At some point though, his coaching staff needs to sit him down and verbally slap him in the face to shake him out of this funk that he's in. The Canucks cannot afford to start sliding down the standings with nine games left.
For the rest of the season, Vancouver does not leave the Pacific time zone. Every game starts at either 7pm or 7:30pm. Maybe that is the consistency that Luongo needs. For the sake of the Canucks record, we all hope so.