The Return Of Roberto Luongo Canucks 5 Preds 6


Thursday night in Vancouver screamed “goalie controversy.” Canucks were down 3-1 after the first period Thursday night against the Nashville Predators. Cory Schneider started and made 2 saves in the first period. Shocker alert: Roberto Luongo started the second period ending Cory Schneider’s 5-0-0 reign. Instantly the whole game changed.

3:10 into the second period Daniel Sedin netted a powerplay goal from Henrik Sedin and and Alex Edler. Just 48 seconds later Aaron Volpatti scored his first goal of the season when he wasn’t even supposed to be in the line-up. Due to paperwork errors Mason Raymond remained out of the line-up and Volpatti stayed in the line-up. His goal was from Maxim Lapierre and Andrew Alberts. 

It was a festivus miracle! The Vancouver Canucks looked alive and inspired, more so than they have been all season. They were finally playing the Canuck way (see what I did there?) Could this be the return of the Canucks from last season? Several more Canuck chances arose causing Pekka Rinne to make some impressive saves. However he could not stop Alex Burrows at 8:16. Burrows made his usual connection from Henrik and Daniel Sedin to make it 4-3.

Shortly at 10:29 in the second period Jannik Hansen raced down the wing and made it 5-3 with a weak goal. Back up Anders Lindback replaced Pekka Rinne giving him a much needed rest. Hansen’s goal was from Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa.

At 16:09 of the second period Jordan TooToo scored his third of the season from Halischuk and Spaling. Where is Sami Salo when you need him? Injured. At this point of the game I was thinking of the Winnepeg and Philadelphia 9-8 game. To answer my question above, this was not the return of the dominating team from last season.

The Canucks seemed to fall apart again and played like they did in the first period. After a sloppy Canuck change and a Ryan Kesler penalty, Colin Wilson scored a beauty backhand powerplay goal 17:30 into the second period. No chance for Roberto Luongo. 5 goals on 15 Nashville shots. The second period ended tied at 5. Was putting Roberto Luongo in net the right choice?

The third period started by going back and forth. The Canucks had many chances but couldn’t capitalize. With 1:16 left in the third period, Roberto Luongo got beat by Mike Fisher, very similar to Colin Wilson’s goal. Jannik Hansen didn’t cover his check and left Fisher with the puck. It’s moments such as this when you should take a penalty. Where is the Jannik Hansen from last season?

Canucks put the pressure on in the last minute to try to get the tieing goal but came up short. The final score goes to Nashville 6 to 5 ending Vancouver’s 5 game winning streak. Roberto Luongo got the loss and Anders Lindback got the win with a solid performance of 19 saves. Here’s a tip Nashville: You have a back up goalie for a reason, use him. Rinne can’t do everything.

3 of Nashville’s goals were on the powerplay. Canucks penalty kill was dreadful, Nashville notching 3 for 3. What makes this statistic even worse is that it was against the Nashville Predators, a team that has been struggling to score goals. Special teams weren’t all bad, Canucks went 2 for 4 on the powerplay.

In the end Corey Schneider let in 3 goals and Roberto Luongo let in 3 goals. This was not a storybook ending for the Vancouver Canucks. The goalie controversy remains: who will start Sunday against Calgary? My money is on Roberto Luongo and another high scoring game on both ends. Hopefully Mason Raymond will finally be able to make his much anticipated season debut Sunday night.