May 8, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT
There’s something oddly poetic about the way the Vancouver Canucks played their last two home games. OK, sure, it’s more like bad high school poetry, but there’s an odd logic to it. After all, the team earned a lot of respect for not just surviving, but thriving during a historic road trip this regular season.
The two home games were particularly rough for Canucks goalie and unofficial captain Roberto Luongo. He allowed 11 goals in two contests as Dustin Byfuglien and the Chicago Blackhawks clearly got in his head with their crease-crashing ways. In both games, Luongo had sub-.900 save percentage. It was just a meltdown for the slick-haired netminder.
Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province captured the sad scene.
It was a bad start. It only got worse. It ended up in a place where none of the Canucks ever wanted to be again. Back in May 2009, reliving their deepest, darkest nightmares from Game 6.
Another Chicago hat trick, another Luongo meltdown, seven more goals and now another deep hole the Canucks will have to dig out of to avoid another postseason from caving in on them in second round.
“It’s not similar to last year, it’s exactly the same,” Ryan Johnson said. “It’s the same type of situation and the same results. “If this isn’t the last wake-up call, I don’t know what it’s going to take.”
The thing is that the Canucks actually played pretty well in Game 1, although Luongo was forced to carry the team at times. To expect him to replicate 36-of-37 save performances three (or more) times in one series might be asking a bit much. Regardless, the Canucks need Luongo to get his game together if they have any chance of pulling off three straight wins against a hot Chicago team.
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