Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/01/11 at 12:53 PM ET
from the CP at The Hockey News,
No one is pumping Roberto Luongo’s tires now.
The Vancouver Canucks goalie was the most talked about player during a Stanley Cup final that ended in disappointment when he fell flat against the Boston Bruins.
Four months later, Luongo finds himself back in the spotlight—will he be the player who earned Vezina Trophy consideration during the regular season or the one who endured some struggles in the playoffs?
With the 2011-12 season getting underway, he tops our list of 10 players to watch this year:
1. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks: Adding intrigue to Luongo’s situation is the fact he has arguably the most capable backup in the league. Many believe Cory Schneider is good enough to be a No. 1 man elsewhere and the Canucks intend to give him more than the 25 appearances he received last year. If Luongo struggles, it could end up being a lot more.
2. Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins: With all of the focus on Crosby’s long absence from the Penguins lineup, it’s often forgotten that Malkin missed almost half of last year as well. They’ll both be worth keeping a close eye on, particularly if they can return to top form, which would instantly elevate Pittsburgh back to a serious Stanley Cup contender.
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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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