Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This is Make it or Break it for Roberto Luongo

The NHL playoffs start tonight for the Vancouver Canucks and this is make it or break it for Roberto Luongo. Roberto Luongo has been criticized fairly by me and other hockey fans overt the years. Now Luongo has a chance to silence all his critics and all he needs to do is win 16 games in the next two and a half months.

Roberto Luongo Signed Photo - 8x10
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Why is this a make it or break it time for Roberto? Cory Schneider has played exceptionally well this year. He could be a starter on any other team and he's waiting in the wings to get his chance at playing in the playoffs. Luongo is on a short leash. Any misstep and Luongo will be pulled in favor of Schneider.

Luongo has a long history of playing erratically in the playoffs. He will have one exceptional game and then have another terrible game, letting in unthinkable goals. Last year, he was pulled four times in the playoffs. I can't remember another time that this has happened to a starting playoff goalie.

Luongo has played another great regular season. His play at home is unquestionably good. The question remains; Can Luongo put the past behind him and win the Stanley Cup? I'm not going to criticize Luongo any further. I've done it in past commentaries and in last week's Face-Off. What I do know is that his fans are growing increasingly impatient with him.

Last year was his best chance at winning it all. It's really tough to make it to back to back Stanley Cup Finals but if Luongo doesn't find a way, this may be the team's last chance in a long, long time. I think that if he doesn't play well, he might find himself being traded.

I know that sounds crazy but Cory Schneider is the type of goalie that can step right in. He's a starting caliber netminder. If Luongo plays poorly, Canucks fans will turn on him and he won't be able to survive in Vancouver.

That would put the Canucks in a tough financial bind. Luongo has a crazy contract. He's currently in his third year of a 12 year, 64 million dollar contract. 12 years is unheard of and really puts the Canucks in a bind, especially if they feel they need to trade him.

I will be watching game one tonight between the Canucks and Los Angeles Kings. This is a great opportunity for Luongo and the Canucks. They start the playoffs as the top seed, playing at home against an inferior opponent. This game and series should be a breeze for Luongo and company!

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