Apr 22, 2011, 3:27 PM EDT
The last two games have been a disaster for Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks. He hasn’t made it through either contest, allowing 10 goals on 40 shots as people wonder if the Chicago Blackhawks remain in his head.
At times, Luongo’s body language has been bad enough that some might call it melodramatic.
Things have declined to such a level that many wonder if the team should go with his solid young backup Cory Schneider. Schneider went 16-4-2 with a 92.9 save percentage and 2.23 GAA during the regular season, so it’s not like the team is unfamiliar with playing in front of him.
Whatever doubt there might have been about who will start for Game 6, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault didn’t hesitate to say that he’s sticking with Luongo. TSN has the report.
When asked if Roberto Luongo would start in Sunday’s game, despite being pulled in each of the last two contests, Vigneualt offered a quick “yes” in response.
Luongo seemed confident that he would be able to bounce back from these last two games.
“You know what, I just keep doing what I’ve been doing all year,” Luongo said. “I’ve been at the top of my game for the last five months…Obviously you don’t lose something like that in a game or two.
“For me, nothing changes. The work is going to be there and I’m going to be focused to play the next one.”
The Canucks take a 3-2 series lead back to Chicago for Game 6, and are still in a good spot but need to focus on the positive, according to Luongo.
“There’s ups and downs in the playoffs. The key is, we’ve got to stay composed here. Obviously, you don’t want to get caught in these situations but we’ve got to take a deep breath here and relax a little bit. I think it’s a good thing we’ve got a couple of days to re-group here as a team and just get back to doing what we do best.”
When you invest in a goalie as much as the Canucks are investing in Luongo, your fate is tied to his in many cases. Sometimes it’s better to roll the dice with your main guy, although Vigneault will face plenty of naysayers if the Blackhawks complete their improbable turnaround from a 3-0 deficit.
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