September 19 2011 02:09PM
What! Me worry about Bobby Lu?
No, because I understand numbers and truth and things that are right in front of my face.
(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Vancouver's flagship sports station, the TEAM 1040, ran a poll on Friday asking listeners to provide feedback on what worries them going into the new season.
As Jason Botchford reported yesterday, Team 1040 listeners overwhelmingly voted for "Roberto Luongo" as their most worrysome issue about their beloved Canucks, taking 62% of the vote.
This emphatically proves one thing: Almost two-thirds of TEAM 1040 listeners are complete idiots.
There are two main reasons why these morons are totally wrong.
1. There is no reason at all about Roberto Luongo.
2. There are at least two other BIG reasons to worry about the Canucks to start the season.
So... part 1. Luongo himself. It seems clear that all this worry stems from the fact that the Canucks were blown out in their four losses in the Stanley Cup Final. Yet another reason why I hate many sports fans. Short-sightedness. These listeners have already forgotten that Luongo was pivotal in winning the first three rounds in last year's playoffs, and put up two shutouts in the Final.
If not for Roberto Luongo, the Vancouver Canucks would have been swept by the Boston Bruins. YEAH I SAID IT!
Don't believe me? In the three games that the Canucks won, they scored a combined 5 goals. FIVE. Five goals in three games. AND THEY WON THOSE GAMES. Most Canucks fans are ignoring the most obvious reason why the Canucks lost. They didn't score enough goals. Not even close. Furthermore... I will say that Luongo is really only tagged with one loss. And that was Game 6. In the losses in games 3, 4, and 7, Luongo allowed only 2 first period goals. That means that the Canucks goalie gave his team EVERY opportunity to open the scoring or take a lead into the first intermission, giving the Canucks a huge advantage. Guess what, his team let him down and did not score ANY goals in the first period in those losses. In fact, the Vancouver Canucks scored only ONE goal in the first period throughout the ENTIRE SERIES. So Roberto Luongo did his job, kept his team battling and gave his skaters a chance to take a lead and control the game. But his team didn't do that at all. Do you STILL think it's Luongo's fault they won? If so, you're an idiot.
Roberto Luongo is a Jennings trophy winner. He is a two-time Vezina nominee. He is an Olympic gold medallist and IIHF World Champion.
Now, there is the whole notion of Luongo being fragile. Are Canucks fans really worried about his mental state? WHO CARES. I do not care if Roberto Luongo is sensitive about what fans think about it. It's irrelevant. He's there to play goal. And he loves playing goal. We know that. Frankly I think the notion of Luongo being fragile is total nonsense. And Canucks fans worrying about it is even more ludicrous. Goalies are weird creatures, and I highly doubt that he's any weirder or more sensitive than any other goalie. What does seem weird is that Cory Schneider is so level-headed and earnest and easy to interview. HE'S the anomoly among goaltenders. And that's why Luongo looks sensitive. Because Schneider is standing in front of the media as cool as a cucumber, with a personality that is the complete antithesis to Luongo.
Roberto Luongo is easily the best goaltender that this franchise has EVER had. So stop worrying about him, dummies.
On to more pressing matters.
There are two other reasons that Canucks fans and TEAM 1040 listeners should be legitimately worried, and neither have anything to do with Luongo.
First, the reigning Selke winner and 40 goal scorer is not playing to start the year. THAT'S AN ACTUAL CONCERN. When you don't have 40 goals in your lineup to start the year, you should be worried. Now, we know full well that Ryan Kesler will be back, and probably sooner than later. But if he suffers any setbacks or reaggrevates his hip labrum injury, it is cause for real worry. Then you have Mason Raymond, regular second-line winger, out for several months as he recovers from a severe back injury. So going into this season, the Vancouver Canucks are missing two-thirds of their second line.
TEAM 1040 listeners, if you are reading this, THIS is the #1 worry about the Canucks.
Next on the list is the defence. It's not the fact that the power play might suffer without Christian Ehrhoff (here's a hint: IT WON'T). It's the fact that the Canucks don't have an actual, true #1 defenceman. They don't have a Norris candidate. I love Bieksa and Hamhuis and Edler. They're fantastic #2 or #3 defencemen, but they aren't (and likely won't ever be) truly elite-level, Norris-type defencemen. And now, without Ehrhoff and no replacement, the Canucks depth will be tested, especially if they suffer anywhere close to the same number of injuries as they did last year. Sure, the Canucks have Chris Tanev, and everyone expects Keith Ballard to return to form. But what if Ballard is a bust? What if Tanev doesn't progress? If that's the case, then the Canucks defence looks shaky after the top 4. All that being said, Keith Ballard looks like he is ready to go for this season, ready to prove his doubters wrong, ready to undo the mistakes he made last year. Chris Tanev also looks like he is ready for his first full year in the NHL and has shown no reason why he shouldn't be there this year. But I think it is reasonable to worry about both Ballard and Tanev until we see them play for the first 6-10 games. THAT is worry #2 about the Canucks.
So... after all of this.. if you are still worried about Roberto Luongo, then there is no helping you. First of all, there's no reason to worry about him. Second of all, there are other reasons to worry about the Canucks to start the season.
If anything, having Roberto Luongo in goal should be the #1 reason why Canucks fans should just shut up and move on from any focus on goaltending. Whether you like Luongo or not.