Captain Luongo

Kristian Urstad
April 02 2010 05:09PM

Vancouver Canucks v Florida Panthers

Luongo after the Kings' game:

"As a team, we should be embarrassed by the way we played. From the first guy, which is me, all the way out to the last guy, it's unacceptable to play this way." 

I’ve been saying it ever since it happened, but Luongo shouldn’t have been anointed captain.

The reason is simple, and, I hope, recognizable by now. It allows him to deflect more attention, more blame, away from himself and onto the team as a whole. This works and makes sense for a player, who forms part of a unity on the ice, but not for a goalie. Goalies, especially so-called elite ones, are, by their very nature as solitary and self-contained figures, accountable for more than the abstract of players in front of them. Great goalies are, for the most part, supposed to make saves when their team plays poorly or when there are lapses in front of them. They simply do not have the luxury, or the right, of defaulting to the common denominator. Especially so when they are given 64 million dollar contracts.

Luongo is a goalie first, not a captain. He should not be conflating his own play with that of the team, at least not on a regular basis.

Internalize the blame Lou, make it your own, without worrying about what the captaincy role requires. Indirectly, you will be doing your job as both goalie and captain when the saves come, no matter the quality of the play in front of you.

Begin with yourself. This, I think, is all anyone asks of you.       

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Kristian Urstad was born, raised, and currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Kristian has been a disappointed yet loyal Canucks fan his whole life. He has a hunch however that their time may soon come. He has a PhD in Philosophy and so tries to take a philosophical approach to writing about hockey and the Canucks, hopeful, but not always sure, that he can offer some new and interesting insights into the various aspects of this great game and burgeoning team. You can reach Kristian at kristianurstad@hotmail.com.
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#1 Doogie2K
April 04 2010, 10:53AM
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I remember reading that the last goalie-captain, Bill Durnan, saw his performace fall off a cliff when he was named captain, because he was distracted by arguing calls, dealing with teammates, etc. It quickly returned to Hall of Fame levels when the C was removed and given to "Butch" Bouchard the following season.

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#2 Sedinz
April 04 2010, 12:48PM
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I agree with this article from start to finish. Naming a goalie Captain is a gimmicky move that embarasses us all.

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#4 Fred Statham
April 04 2010, 04:18PM
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After the debacle in LA, it is tme for Roberto to give up the "C". - who should be the next canucks captain? When Nazzy retired,I was hoping it would go to Mitchell. But with Willie's career almost over, I would campaign for Henrik Sedin. He is the natural choice to be the next canucks captain, especially if he becomes the second canuck to win a major award.(Bure winning the calder trophy being the first). Henrik is in contention for the: Art Ross, Hart, Lady Byng and Pearson Awards this year- THAT IS LEADERSHIP!

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