While Luongo hasn’t been at his best, to blame him for what has been a dismal start defensively for the Canucks is outright ridiculous. Also, ladies and gentlemen, the season is early – and much too early to press the panic button!
As the Canucks’ captain and the team's highest-paid player, he will take and assume most of the responsibility, but in that locker-room every player knows they need to be better and it’s not only Luongo’s fault as to why the team has had a poor start.
For the first time in his hockey career, Luongo started on-ice training earlier this summer recognizing that he has had some slow starts in the past. He was simply trying to change his routine, which is something he can control. He will also bounce back from what he himself will say has been a frustrating opening to the season.
The bottom line is that every defensive pairing and every forward on the Canucks also needs to be better. The loss of one-on-one battles and the amount free space given to opposing forwards so far this season has looked more like minor hockey than NHL calibre.
I love what coach Alain Vigneault has been saying in the local Vancouver newspapers in sticking up for his franchise player: “I really believe - and I hope I’m not the only one in Vancouver who believes - that Roberto Luongo is going to be the goaltender that he has always been. He’s a great goaltender and a hard worker, and I just think he’s going to get his game together. I hope I am not the only one. C’mon.”
Luongo is one of the best goalies in the league and I have faith that he could be the one that will lead Canada to gold in 2010. He will be better and the team will be better.
I love spending time in this city. The passion for hockey is second to none, but I ask one question with an Olympic flare to it ... “Do you believe?”
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