"They had a few chances early, and I made a few saves. But the rest of the way, I didn't help my teammates out. I'm sorry, guys," Luongo said and then he teared up and walked away. Classy, heartbreaking stuff from a team captain after a series loss.
Not even 12 hours after the Canucks were ousted from the playoffs many fans and mainstream media were not only putting a lot of blame on Roberto Luongo, they were/are also saying it might be a good idea to trade him before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after next season, claiming the $8 million he is making may handcuff Mike Gillis' ability to remake the team.
To those people I offer a toast. I am holding up my glass of "shut the hell up!" It's unbelievable how so many people not only knee jerk after a loss, but also lose their sense of reality. Personally, I am disappointed with Luongo's performance against the Hawks, but he wasn't exactly terrible either. The whole team failed. Many of the Hawks' goals were practically unstoppable. That's how precise their snipers are. The Canucks offered Luongo no support in Round 2, or, inconsistent support. Their fails gave Chicago completely favorable scoring chances on many occasions. Several of these chances WERE stopped by Luongo. Asking Luongo to play a whole series at the level Kirk McLean did in Game 1 in the 1994 Finals is absurd. But it seems that that's what he would have had to do to win this series.
Am I exaggerating?
OK, let's go back to the "trade Luongo" topic. I say Mike Gillis will NOT pull that trade. I think it's fair to say that MG is going to build another competitive team this summer even with Luongo's big salary. We have to trust that he will accomplish that by now. He is going to do everything in his power to build a Canucks team that can win and in the process, hope that Louie likes what he sees and signs an extension.
Yes, Luongo did say that he will want to play for a team that has the best chance to win it all after next season. I think that is part of what angers fans as well. I say: have faith that Gillis will build a winner and Louie may just sign here again.
Unreal. I should have waited a few more days before I addressed this, but I just can't contain my anger. I defend Roberto Luongo and his contract. I think he IS a world class goalie that Canucks fans should be grateful for, especially after the Cloutier, Snow, Irbe, etc years.
I will say this though: I think it COULD BE a good idea to remove the captaincy from Lou. Don't goalies already have enough pressure on them? If it would help Luongo I'd say do it.
There is so much to talk about in relation to these Canucks. Are Alain Vigneault's days numbered? Who is Gillis going to re-sign or let go?
We'll tackle those issues soon or update you on any developments there.
In the meantime, thank you Roberto Luongo and your team for the insane ride this year. There were so many adversities (death of friends, Luongo injury, massive losing skid) for the Canucks and I am proud of how you performed under all these circumstances. I'm disappointed and expected more, but I'm proud of this team nevertheless.