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To the Man Who Thrived Under Pressure

Through all of the narrative, the criticisms, and the BS, I have never seen a player play as well under constant scrutiny and pressure as Roberto Luongo did. It's easy to give everything you have when you have nothing to lose, and when everyone is on your side. It's much harder when people are waiting to attack you when you fail, or marginalize your impact if you win.

For the better part of six years, Roberto Luongo took on more criticisms than any other NHL player - and it's not close. Roberto gave us six of our best seasons during which I challenge you to find a goaltender that was more consistent or effective. Roberto won more games than any other goaltender, and won many big games. He also lost many big games. But he always handled the media with class (even if they didn't), he was funny, and most importantly he consistently put us in an amazing position to win hockey games.

Speaking as a former soccer goalie, I can tell you that there is no way to will a save or give your team a save at the right time. For a goaltender every save is important, and if they could will them out, nothing would ever get by. Luongo showed over six years that he could handle anything Vancouver would throw at him, and he could thrive doing it. Luongo would be back in goal for 2012-'13 if he was wanted, and he would have continued to put up stellar numbers. He would have continued to put us in a position to win a Stanley Cup.

This could be a long post, but it doesn't need to be. Thanks for playing so well for so long Lou, even when you had every reason not to.

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