Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/15/12 at 10:24 AM ET
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
The coach said it and the general manager confirmed it. In their minds, there’s no doubt that Roberto Luongo is the starting goaltender.
The only problem with the proclamation is when doubt starts to cloud the picture as the playoffs approach. In a solid season where the Vancouver Canucks stopper had just three regulation losses in January and February, his own version of March Madness is making the masses mad and clamouring for Cory Schneider — who’s on an 8-0-1 roll — to play a more prominent role. Luongo allowed five goals on 33 shots Wednesday in a 5-4 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes at Rogers Arena and it wasn’t the amount of goals — which now number 16 in his last four appearances — it was the nature of them that will have goalie coach Rollie Melanson scratching his head.
You can also argue that a lack of support in suspect backchecking after bad reads in the offensive zone didn’t help, but in what could be a possible postseason preview, you expect more from your starter. Luongo hasn’t won since starting the month with a 29-save effort in the 2-0 blanking of the St. Louis Blues. On Wednesday, he knew he should have been better.
“Of course,” said Luongo. “We all do and it starts with me and all the way out.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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