Canucks 1 Panthers 3: Canucks Fall Apart on Luongo’s Return

Kevin Bieksa gets toppled by first overall draft pick Aaron Ekblad

Kevin Bieksa gets toppled by first overall draft pick Aaron Ekblad

AUTHOR’S NOTE: It has been over a month since I have published my last article “The Goaltending Controversy Del Två”. Due to personal obligations, I have not been able to pen my “After Ten” or other analysis articles where I discuss the current state of the Vancouver Canucks.

 

 

Last night Roberto Luongo returned to the city of Vancouver, the place he called home for eight years. The fans cheered him on throughout the game and it brought what looked like tears to his eyes. His old pals from the Canucks gave him one of the greatest presents of all, a victory in Vancouver allowing him to officially claim he has truly defeated every team in the NHL.

Five minutes into the game the Canucks looked like they had this game marked to be locked up with a win. Fans would have to guess again after the emotion took over the home bench but not the returning goalie.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored three points (2G, 1A) and rattled the Canucks to their core. The home team looked out of place and spent the majority of the time in their own defensive zone. The Canucks attempted to look like the almighty ones by sending out Dorsett to scrap almost every player on the Panthers line-up but he was eventually taken out by Luongo’s blocker.

The only players to show any consistency were Alex Burrows and Bo Horvat. Burrows lit up the highlight reel with his countless opportunities to score and Bo Horvat was, as usual, a face-off god.

It appeared the home team was dull in the second period when two goals were scored. The Panthers went in charging and did not let up on the ailing Canucks.

“When we came out our energy level wasn’t great,” Desjardins said in a post-game interview, “it seemed like we weren’t working hard enough.”

Bo Horvat looked to be in complete agreement with the words his coach spoke.

“We have to start capitalizing on our opportunities,” Horvat said, “We’ve got to play more aggressive and play with more energy.”

The Canucks are aware of their actions on the ice and how it is unacceptable, but will they be able to correct their mistakes as of late?

Ryan Miller made key saves to keep the team within reachable distance in the third period but was let down by his teammates who gave Luongo easy shots to block.

The power play was an utter nightmare, when a two-man advantage that should have allowed the boys to gain some traction did not produce a single shot on net. This is partly due to the fact they were out defended and could not match up to the Panthers strength. Luca Sbisa and Kevin Bieksa were two of the players who were erratic on their play.

The Vancouver Canucks showed a few glimmers of hope in last night’s game but it was not enough to give them the win they needed.

 

Caleb Harder

@cjaharder

2015

Loss to Panthers No Big Deal, Perfect Night for Luongo

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The Vancouver Canucks lost 3-1 to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. While that generally isn’t a good thing, it’s a loss that was easy to take if you were a Canucks fan.

Roberto Luongo’s return to Roger’s Arena was pretty much the perfect script for the much loved/maligned former Canuck. The only thing that would have made it complete was if he had pitched a shutout against his friends in blue.

I’m a Roberto Luongo fan, and I think some of the stuff he went through here was pretty bush league and I blame Mike Gillis for that. He created a 2-year goaltending circus in Vancouver and it cost the Canucks one of the league’s best goaltenders, and one of its best young up and comers in Cory Schneider.

His detractors will point to his playoff collapses and his defenders will point to the lack of support in those games. Regardless of that situation he is the best goaltender the Canucks have had over their existence.

Rarely did he show frustration with the way things went down. He even went as far to say he felt Gillis did his best to resolve the situation. He handled it with class and played hard for the team until the end.

You could tell Luongo enjoyed it all. The tribute, the fans, the outcome. He even got a chance to salute the faithful after he was rightfully named the 1st star of the game. He spoke of trying not to watch too much of a first period video tribute because he was afraid his emotions would get to him.

“It was special. The whole night, people were cheering me on. Just really thankful for the support and really happy that things went the way they did,” said Luongo.

Roberto Luongo grew as a person as a Canuck. The guarded, emotional Luongo that arrived evolved into the relaxed, humorous Luongo. Maybe that was always there, but we didn’t see much of it in his early days as a Canuck. Thanks to Twitter, we saw a lot of it in his final years here.

Sure, the Canucks lost the game, but if you’re a Luongo fan, it kind of felt like a win.

As the video tribute displayed, let me just say one more time, thanks for eight great years, Lu.

#TBT Hockey Hair: Who Rocked What?

When most people think of “hockey hair”, the vision of the mullet comes up, because in the late 80s and early 90s, it was so. When I used to describe guys back then, I would use the term “hockey hair” guys  back then… “He’s tall, blonde, has hockey hair…”. Yeah, it was a thing.  However, not all “hockey hair” is that of business in the front and party in the back. In fact, we have some other categories to show you.

Classic Hockey Hair: The Mullet

Here are some guys that have rocked the mullet their way. Some make me want to cringe, but they all make me laugh.

Kenny Baumgartner rocked the mullet like he was Billy Ray Cyrus.

Kenny Baumgartner rocked the mullet like he was Billy Ray Cyrus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If John Stamos didn't use hairspray, I venture to say his hair looked a lot a like Jagr's famous 'signature' do.

If John Stamos didn’t use hairspray, I venture to say his hair looked a lot a like Jagr’s famous ‘signature’ do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps, Al Iafrate wore it until his last hair follicle fell out.

Perhaps, Al Iafrate wore it until his last hair follicle fell out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The coaches got into it too. Barry Melrose sported his mullet with his Armani suits.

The coaches got into it too. Barry Melrose sported his mullet with his Armani suits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The infamous hockey hair better known as the mullet. Who else rocked a pretty good one? Well I’d have to go back to 2010…

Tanner Glass rocked a mullet during his time with the Canucks, although a much more modern version of it, but still a enough party in the back to make the category.

Tanner Glass rocked a mullet during his time with the Canucks, although a much more modern version of it, but still a enough party in the back to make the category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bald and the Beautiful?

My nickname for Alex Auld when he was playing for the Canucks was "Auldy the Baldy". Still, hair or no hair, you can't hide handsome.

My nickname for Alex Auld when he was playing for the Canucks was “Auldy the Baldy”. Still, hair or no hair, you can’t hide handsome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He rocked the bald look so well, he even got a blog named after him, Jan Bulis.

He rocked the bald look so well, he even got a blog named after him, Jan Bulis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The more Mats Sundin lost his hair, the more viking he became on the ice. The opposite of Samson, Sundin rocked that looked like a champ.

The more Mats Sundin lost his hair, the more viking he became on the ice. The opposite of Samson, Sundin rocked that look like a champ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason I want to play pool…

 

Greased Lightning!

Now there is greased…

 

roberto-luongo-canada

Roberto Luongo actually looks better with the slicked back look. It suits him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and there is greasy…

No matter what length of hair he had, Brent Sopel never had it look clean.

No matter what length of hair he had, Brent Sopel never had it look clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or this…

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who has the greasiest hair of all? Why you do, Mike Ricci!

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who has the greasiest hair of all? Why you do, Mike Ricci!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got Flow: Here are the guys that keep the hair product companies in business.

Kris Letang makes the 90's one length Seattle grunge hair look good. I wonder what conditioner he uses.

Kris Letang makes the 90’s one length Seattle grunge hair look good. I wonder what conditioner he uses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Kesler rocked the best Astro Boy hair ever circa 2009.

Ryan Kesler rocked the best Astro Boy hair ever circa 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Jose Theodore had model looks and the locks to go with it.

Vintage Jose Theodore had model looks and the locks to go with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These guys could basically have any hair style and they could make it look good!

Quit Clowning Around!

Ronald McDonald was apparently a hair trend setter for the NHL as well…

Trend Setter! Red Hair, don't care!

Trend Setter! Red Hair, don’t care!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should have the get out of bed clown hair…

Mike Commodore was rocking some ginger fro look during his time with the Carolina Hurricanes for a few seasons.

Mike Commodore was rocking some ginger fro look during his time with the Carolina Hurricanes for a few seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of the perfectly coiffed

Daniel Alfredsson was trying to rock a more coiffed clown look.

Daniel Alfredsson was trying to rock a more coiffed clown look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a look at some of the hockey hair of yester-years (and some present). It just goes to show you not all hockey hair is a mullet, but it sure sparked some interesting hairstyles over the years on the ice. Which was your favourite player or hockey figure to every rock a memorable hairstyle? Mine? It belongs to one in stripes… “Hair” himself, Kerry Fraser

 

There was no one more proud of his hair that ever around NHL ice than Kerry Fraser. His nickname says it all... "Hair"

There was no one more proud of his hair that ever around NHL ice than Kerry Fraser. His nickname says it all… “Hair”

The Goaltending Controversy Del Två (Part Two)

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Since the arrival of Cory Schneider in the 2010-11 season, a significant era began. This period is what fans like to call “The Goaltending Controversy”. 

Schneider came waltzing in swooning the fans and management away from Roberto Luongo. The rookie eventually stole the spotlight from Luongo and became the new starting goalie. Schneider’s reign came to an abrupt end in 2013 when he was traded to New Jersey for a first round draft pick.

Luongo was the starter again and it was the end of the never-ending story. Then came along the 2014 Olympic break. When the break was over, former coach John Tortorella anointed Eddie Lack as the Canucks new starter.

The shafted Luongo was eventually traded to Florida and all was good again. The Canucks, under the new management of Jim Benning, signed Ryan Miller to become the new starting goalie. It was apparent the controversy was finally over and it was the start of a new chapter for the franchise.

Today after a pre-game practice on the Canucks seven game road trip, Jason Botchford went to Twitter with some “big news”.

“Miller will start,” Botchford tweeted, “Willie was leaning Lack but Miller made what the coach thought was a good point.”

One minute later Botchford continued to say, “Miller said it would be more difficult for Lack starting a day after a team day off. Easier to go with the guy who has been playing.”

After these tweets came out, social media erupted with debates and thus re-sparked “The Goaltending Controversy”.

It would be an absolute shame for this to become the highlight of the season. Vancouver has had enough of this recurring theme. It is unclear whether Miller was being selfless or selfish in stealing a game against the Washington Capitals from Lack. From how it has been interpreted by Botchford and other sports news personalities, it appears to be more selfish.

Eddie Lack has started in five games this season. Some may argue he will not be starting tonight because of his 1-3-1 record this season but Lack is not at fault for these losses. In his few starts, Lack has been thrown out to the wolves on the short end of back-to-back games.

Tonight Lack would have had a chance to prove himself to Canucks fans and his teammates as a reliable goaltender but has been given the shaft. It would make more sense to start Ryan Miller in the next game where they play the Pittsburgh Penguins and give Lack the start tonight. For all fans know, Lack may be in net on Thursday, but it will most likely be Miller taking both starts.

It would be a shame to give Lack only the short end of back-to-backs and it could be detrimental to his development. Miller has been given four straight starts as of Sunday afternoon.

It seems to be a no-brainer to start Lack in net after Millers disaster in Detroit on Sunday afternoon. If Miller blows up again tonight, it will be interesting to see what unfolds next.

Welcome back to the Goaltending Controversy.

Caleb Harder

@cjaharder

Has the Goaltending Controversy Reignited?

#TICH: Roberto Luongo Sets Club Shutout Record

Another edition of Today in Canucks History or simply hash-tagged #TICH, our feature is about a streak of  ‘goose egg hockey’ played by Roberto Luongo.

November 12, 2008: After posting three consecutive shutouts, Roberto Luongo set a Vancouver Canucks club record of 222:36 of shutout hockey until he was scored on by the Colorado Avalanche.

The road to the Canucks’ shutout record

It started on November 4th when the Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 4-0 at Rogers Arena. A night where we saw Kyle Wellwood score 2 goals and Roberto Luongo had 24 saves to post the first shutout of the streak.

Luongo started the shut out streak on November 4th, 2008 and it was ended on #TICH Nov.12, 2008. 222.36 of not allowing a goal.

Luongo started the shut out streak on November 4th, 2008 and it was ended on #TICH Nov.12, 2008. 222 minutes and 36 seconds of not allowing a goal.

 

Continuing the shutout streak on  November 6th, Roberto Luongo made 28 saves from 28 SOG as Bieksa notched the only tally to win 1-0. 

Two nights later, on November 8th, the Canucks beat Minnesota 2-0 with a 29 save effort from Luongo, blanking the Wild.

On the last game of the home-stand,on this day (November 12) in 2008, the Colorado Avalanche finally scored on Lu to tie the game, and more importantly, they snapped Luongo’s  shutout streak at 1:28 into the 3rd period. The scorer? Marek Svatos ties up the game to send it into a shoot out. The Canucks fell to the Colorado Avalanche that night in a SO decision. 2-1.

That was a nice streak for Roberto Luongo, and it was a catalyst to having him make his way to the Canucks club record books.

Here are a few of his other Canucks records:

Most wins in a season: 47

Most shutouts in a season: 9

Most wins as a Canuck: 252

Most shutouts: 38

Just a small reminder of how good Roberto was as a member of the Vancouver Canucks…

 

Thanks Lu!

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