Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Grading Luongo

As fans, we put alot of pressure on the players on our team, especially goaltenders and even more so, big-money goalies. You have to think that Roberto Luongo is feeling the pressure in Vancouver, a much more hockey-mad community than Florida was, where we will scrutinize his every move. We expect great things from a guy who is eating up alot of our cap space.
So let's be realistic. Luongo has struggled from time to time. I've verbally hacked him on occasion. But I think Luongo is gradually getting better, and adjusting to his coach's and team's style. So it seems. His stats, generally, are decent compared to the rest of the league. Here is how he lines up.
(Goalies who have played in less than 10 games will not be counted)

Games played: 32, 1st overall. JS Giguere is 2nd with 31 GP
Minutes played: 1810, 1st overall. Martin Brodeur is 2nd with 1797.
Shots faced: 837, 2nd overall. Miikka Kiprusoff has faced 850 shots, and has played in 3 less games than Luongo.
Goals against average: 2.42, 12th overall. Dominic Hasek is 1st with 1.96.
Save percentage: .913, 19th overall. Cristobal Huet is 1st with .932.
Wins: 17, 3rd overall. Obviously, Giguere is 1st with 22 wins.
Shutouts: 2, tied for 3rd.

I think his save percentage needs to get better, and probably will.

Of course, alot of goalie stats reflect how the team plays in front of him. In the past 3 Canuck wins, here are Luongo's average stats:

Shots faced: 81
Saves: 77
Save percentage: .951
Goals against average: 1.33

God-like in nature, huh? In Luongo's defence, he was superb in the Canucks' last 3 wins. More so than usual. He looks comfortable in net right now.
What baffles me, from what I saw, was that CBC and Sportsnet never recognized Luongo as a star of the game in any of those 3 games. At least a couple of us bloggers know what is going on! I wonder if Luongo makes it look so easy sometimes that he gets overlooked.
Anyway, my hat is off to Luongo right now, and I hope his success continues.

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.