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Vancouver Canucks

Luongo Can’t Do It Alone

After two periods of Wednesday’s game it looked like Roberto Luongo might record his 4th straight shutout and extend his new Canuck record for scoreless minutes, but a power play goal by Marek Svatos early in the 3rd period tied the game at 1-1 and Colorado went on to win 2-1 in a shootout.

Based on their play in the first 20 minutes, you would never have guessed that Colorado was in last place in the Northwest Division and playing without their biggest star, Joe Sakic. They came out flying and out-shot the Canucks 16-8 in the period. Luongo made some great saves on route to breaking his previous Canuck record of 212 minutes and 12 seconds

Vancouver took the lead early in the second period on a Taylor Pyatt penalty shot. This goal seemed to energize the Canucks who outplayed the Avalanche for the rest of the period. However, Peter Budaj, made several exceptional saves of his own and was helped by Steve Bernier and Daniel Sedin, both of whom missed wide open nets. Had either Bernier or Sedin scored, the Av’s might have folded and the game would have turned out differently. In the 3rd period, while on a power play, Raymond Mason and Henrik Sedin were unable to lift the puck into the open net above Budaj, instead shooting harmlessly into his pads. Budaj went on to make several more great saves on the way to a first star selection.

In their first eleven games this season the Canucks were held to two or fewer goals five times and they lost all five games. In their last five games they’ve scored two goals or less on four occasions and they’ve lost two of them, but Luongo has recorded shutouts in two of those games. The odds are that if you score no more than two goals a game you’re going to lose no matter who your goalie is. The big question for the Canucks is where are the goals going to come from? I don’t see the answer in the current lineup.

Vancouver closes out their current six game home stand on Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, needing a win to take nine out of a possible twelve points and move their record to a respectable 10-6-1. If the Canucks can stay out of the penalty box they will have a chance as Luongo hasn’t allowed an even strength goal in five straight games.

I’m still not convinced that this is a team that is heading for a playoff birth even with Roberto Luongo in goal.

The Old Timer
November 14, 2008

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