WDYTT: Requesting one holiday gift from the Vancouver Canucks

Photo credit:© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
6 months ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that remembers the days when the Canucks’ goalies were a lot more porous.
Speaking of holey days, it’s the holidays, and like most of you, we here at CanucksArmy are winding down 2023 as we gear up for what promises to be a busy 2024.
Different folks celebrate the holidays in different ways. But some consistent themes include rest, reflection, time spent with loved ones, and the giving and receiving of gifts.
For our WDYTT purposes today, we’re focusing on the last item on the list.
Look, the Canucks (and we here at CanucksArmy) couldn’t ask for anything more than has already been received from you, your loyal support.
But holiday gifts are a two-way street, and we think you deserve a little something in return.
Have fun with this. Be silly. Be creative. Be thought-provoking. Be esoteric.
Get outside of the box as you determine what you would like the Vancouver Canucks to put into a box for you and wrap.
This week, we’re asking:

If you could receive ANY gift from the Vancouver Canucks this holiday season, what would you ask for?

Keep it clean, and let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Is Roberto Luongo the greatest goaltender in Vancouver Canucks history? Yes or no, and why or why not?

You answered be-luuuuuuuuu.
bruce donice:
Luongo was good, but we have been blessed with a lot of really good goalies, all special in the times they played. Some had to play behind a crappy team, just as Luongo had when he first arrived. Luongo could steal games, which gave the team the feeling they could beat anyone, which was important as the team transitioned into a contender.
NO! Luongo choked in Game 7 versus Boston, and before that he fired up Thomas by criticizing him. I’d take King Richard or McLean over Luongo.
defenceman factory:
Yes, Luongo is probably the best goalie in franchise history so far. He certainly had the best sense of humour. I don’t think Luongo was a great big game goalie. In five years, I hope the answer to this question is “not any more.”
Individual players can sometimes put a team on their back and take over a playoff series. That sounds more like Demko than Luongo. Hoping Demko gets a chance to show us that again soon.
Hard to compare goalie calibre through the different eras and especially because of the evolution of the butterfly style of play. I think the old stand-up, athletic goalies of the past would get shelled in today’s game.
BeerCan Boyd:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I’ll pose the question in a different way. If you had one game to win to clinch the Stanley Cup, which goalie would you choose? IMO, there are four choices when it comes to the Canucks: Richard Brodeur, Kirk McLean, Luongo, or Thatcher Demko. If all were playing at their absolute peak form, I’d have to take Demko. Game 7 against Vegas was the most unbelievable goaltending I’ve seen in a Canuck uni. And I go all the way back to Charlie Hodge and George Gardiner!
Luongo was the best regular season goalie in Canucks history. He constantly underperformed in the playoffs, except for the 2011 run.
For my money, Kirk McLean was the best playoff goalie in Canucks history.
Yes! Most wins, shutouts, and most win shares. Carried the team for years, including being a Vezina finalist twice during an era when goaltenders dominated the NHL.
McLean was a great goalie, but I wouldn’t say he was he ever the best player on the team, except for during the 1994 finals run.
Demko has the potential to overtake Luongo one day, but he isn’t there yet.
Hockey Bunker:
Kirk Mclean took the 14th place, .500 Canucks to Game Seven.
Luongo took the runaway best team in the league to Game Seven.
McLean had a better GAA and save %, they both had four shutouts.
McLean was the better goalie…playing his best when the pressure was on.
Not so Luongo.
Captain KIRK is best…..sorry LU.
Luongo was the better regular season goalie and won a lot of games for the Canucks, while McLean was the better big game and playoff goalie.
I do go with McLean on this one, but it is close. Captain Kirk left a lot of great memories that can’t be ignored. I remember one game in Montreal where he stole the game and the Canucks left with a win and the Montreal fans gave him a standing ovation… this still gives me chills to recollect, and kudos to great fans in Montreal for recognizing an incredible performance.
Also Game 1 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals against the Rangers. Everyone thought the Canucks didn’t stand a chance in that series, but Kirk proved that the Canucks were there to play with another stolen game. There are too many more to list…
Demko looks to be coming into the mix, but needs to show a bit more first. And honorable mention to Irbe, who for part of one of the worst and darkest seasons in Canuck history, still had a winning record. Irbe got no respect from Canucks coaches, but was great when he was here.
Absolutely, and it’s not even close. The guy’s a Hall of Famer. Played a shitload of games in his career and during individual seasons. Something Demko will never ever do. The Canucks went thru a bunch of lousy goalies after McLean. Luongo was a saviour for the team, as Cloutier had really blown any chance of the Canucks succeeding come playoff time. The guy was a workhorse that could steal games on a regular basis. No other Canuck goalie even comes close.
The #1 goalie in team history should be reserved for the goalie that brings the Cup to Vancouver, as should be best captain. We’ve had excellent captains and goalies, but what is the point of anointing those that weren’t able to reach the top of the mountain?
Luongo was great, and there were unbelievable stretches in the regular seasons, where you thought he might be enough to win a game on his own. But in the playoffs, his confidence always seemed fragile, like things could implode at any minute. Same could be said for 2010.
The run McLean went on, during the playoffs, was the most impressive stretch of clutch goalie play in team history.
Reg Dunlop:
Absolutely. Luongo was the best of all Canuck goaltenders. He has all the stats to back up any doubters. Many of us, including myself, remember some of his brutal games that continue to haunt us to this day.
Luongo, and it’s not close.
McLean and Brodeur had miracle playoff runs for which we’re forever grateful, just like Demko did in the bubble playoffs, but the rest of their careers were only average. Given how poor the rest of the goaltending in the team’s history has been, they stand out.
Luongo is in the Hall. Luongo set the season record for wins in a season, with 47. Only hitch was that Martin Brodeur also set the record that year with 49. Sooo typical.
Luongo had 38 shutouts with the team (Demko has only five when, hell, Cloutier had 14 in a similar number of games), and he would have had a lot more still if not for his mental lapses in the last five minutes of games, losing a dozen more shutouts there.
Luongo’s career Save % is .919, with only Schneider’s of .927 higher in team history. Demko’s is .911 by contrast. MacLean’s is .887, which even in the ‘90s hockey era will tell you that’s not great; sure, he had weak defence in front of him. And Brodeur? Hola, it’s .872, which is dreadful.
So yes, playoffs count a whole heck of a lot for perception, but there’s no argument here to be made beside one of passionate favouritism.
And remember: Luongo on home ice in the first three games of the 2011 SCF let in a total of… three goals, with a shutout in Game 5. If I were Vigneault, I would have started Schneider in Game 6, and they would have won it all.
Could Demko turn into Luongo? Yes. But he needs a lot more seasons yet to show that.

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