Posted on: December 9, 2008 8:30 am
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Roberto Luongo

  The last few games have been a tough stretch for the Vancouver Canucks. When Luongo went down with a groin strain on a routine save, Canucks fans across North America gasped. While any time you lose a superstar player (especially a goaltender) for any stretch of time, it is almost guaranteed to hurt your team. However, I was at first anxious to see how Sanford (who had been playing really well at the time) and Cory Schneider would jump at their opportunities to show what they had. For Sanford, it was a rare opportunity for some consecutive games under his belt and for Schneider, it was the Canuck's top-ranked goaltending prospect getting his first NHL regular season experience.

  Since the Luongo injury however, the Canucks have gone an unimpressive 2-4-1. Cory Schneider did get his first NHL win against division rival Minnesota, and Sanford beat the Wings the first game after the Luongo injury. Well the Canucks replacement goaltenders have not really played poorly (although Schneider did let in some softies against Colorado on Sunday).

  One has to wonder however where the Canucks could have been if Luongo hadn't been injured. Since the injury, the Canucks have slipped to 2nd in the Northwest. Of their 5 losses, only one was by more than a single goal (a 3-1 L at Calgary). With Luongo between the pipes I dare say that the Canucks might very well have won at least 2 of the games they ended up losing. Points wise, this would put them with a firm grasp on the division lead.

  Having said all that, it's still the first half of the season. The Canucks are only two points out of the division lead and Luongo has returned to practice and is expected to back in game form very soon. His presence in the locker room as the team captain as well as his presence in goal should give the Canucks the boost they need to get back on track and winning some games. And who knows, maybe Mats Sundin will even join us soon. (if anybody has ANY idea what or when he is going to make any kind of decision at all)

Go Canucks Go!!

And finally, thank you to Trevor Linden and all you ever did for the Canucks organization. It will be a proud moment to see 16 hanging in the rafters of the Garage

 
 
 
 
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