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Luongo’s solid, but no hero amid goalie controversy

Jan 21, 2013, 12:28 AM EDT

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 20: Goalie Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks coveres up the puck before Jordan Eberle #14 of the Edmonton Oilers can get his stick on it during the second period of NHL action on January 20, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) Getty Images

Roberto Luongo wasn’t bad, but he did get bested by Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky in the shootout as the Edmonton Oilers went on to earn a 3-2 victory on Sunday. More importantly, he wasn’t able to be the hero Vancouver was looking for after its rough loss on Saturday.

“We deserved to win,” said Luongo, according to Sun Media’s Hosea Cheung. “Both (regulation) goals, I could have done a better job.”

Vancouver defied expectations by entering the season with Luongo and Cory Schneider, despite the fact that Schneider inked a three-year, $12 million contract in the off-season. The result is that the Canucks have $9,333,333 million of their annual cap committed to their goaltenders, which will be particularly problematic when the cap goes down to $64.3 million next season.

Still, in the short term there are some benefits. Having two elite-level goaltenders could prove to be critical due to the condensed schedule. It gave them the flexibility to go with Schneider on Saturday and Luongo on Sunday.

Of course, that hasn’t worked out for them yet and the Canucks are down 0-1-1. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault has a lot on his plate and more than one issue he’ll need to address going forward, but the one with the most intrigue is this: Which goaltender will get the nod on Wednesday against Calgary?

Will he go back to Schneider despite his rough outing in the season opener or will he stick with Luongo, who was an improvement on Sunday? Or will Luongo get traded in the coming days and force the Canucks to fully embrace the Schneider era?

  1. woodstakes - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Canucks will be fine, as much as I HATE to say that!! They are still a very good team and are still the top dog in the NW. BUT, they really didn’t do anything to improve over the offseason and virtually everyone else either did or the youth just got a little older. The Canucks easy runs to the President Cup every year are O-V-E-R!! Not saying they won’t still win the division, but it will be a much tougher ride than it has been in the last 4-5 years.

    • valoisvipers - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Woodstakes It looks like your Wild will run away with the NW this season.Good for them,their fans and the State. Fun times ahead for the Wild.

    • badintent - Jan 21, 2013 at 8:23 PM

      We waited almost 4 months for this crap ? ! Cancel the season now. Start over in Fall 2013, make the Lunogo trade already and move on. Fire Gillis and bring in Bowman.No Stanely cup riots this year in Vancoooooooooooooouver .

  2. rawgator06 - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Well, considering he was considered trade bait for about a year by
    Vancouver and has been heckled by the fan base, Luongo does not owe Vancouver anything. Maybe his play not at its peak because they treated him like trash..

  3. stakex - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Perhaps he could have done a better job on the two goals he allowed, but he still made 30 saves on 32 shots for a .938 S%. Thats not bad at all, and its a hell of a lot better then the 9 saves on 14 shots Cory Schneider had last night. There is little question who SHOULD start for Vancouver on Wednesday…

    This is what happens when you make it clear you want to get rid of a player, but fail to do so. It creates very awkward situations… especially with goalies. I mean what happens if Schneider continues to be a sieve, and Luongo continues to put up solid numbers? It would be hard to justify getting rid of Luongo at that point.

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