by PuckStopsHere on 10/18/11 at 04:27 PM ET
One of the veteran players who has the widest range among various observers in his expectations this season is Roberto Luongo. Luongo has been the best goalie in the NHL in the past decade. Though he has not won the Vezina Trophy he has had several Vezina worthy season. As a result, he ranks very highly in the top seasons by goaltender point shares. However, the what have you done for me lately crowd watch him play poorly in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. In a few games, he didn`t look good enough to be an NHL starting goalie.
The observations of Luongo in the years of his career show he is a top goalie, even if he has had some recent problems. It is most reasonable to expect he will remain a top goalie into the future.
It`s very early in the season, but how has he done so far?
Luongo has only played in three games so far this season. He has posted a 3.61 GAA and a .871 saves percentage so far. These are not particularly good numbers. The problem in interpreting these numbers is there is one game that pulls down these numbers. In Luongo`s game against the Philadelphia Flyers he allowed five goals on 27 shots. At early points in the season, one game can have that effect.
Roberto Luongo would really like to have a strong season. It will silence critics. The sooner the strong play begins the sooner the criticism ends. If Luongo has a poorer to average season, the criticism will continue.
In Vancouver, Luongo is in the hotseat. He has a big contract. He is a high profile player. He did not play well in the Stanley Cup finals. He has a competent, if still somewhat unproven, backup in Cory Schneider. There is pressure on him to perform. He has performed very well in the past and the best guess is that he will again.
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