April 02 2010 05:09PM
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.