- Height: 6-3
- Weight: 217
- Age: 34
Luongo is a veteran butterfly style goalie with the ability to make show-stopping saves. He can steal games, but is occasionally prone to weak angle goals. Lu was better going post to post prior to a season ending injury to his groin sustained several years ago, but has adapted his style from an athletic goaltender to a sound positional one. He is a workhorse capable of playing 70-75 games per season and is the Canucks’ all-time leader in virtually every statistical category for goaltenders. Though age is not on his side, Luongo is still an elite level goalie when he’s on, but he can be a bit fragile mentally.
Verdict: Glass Half Full
About the only thing in Vancouver which is certain is that goaltender Cory Schneider will be shouldering the load for the team next season. There are some questions, however. Some technical elements of Schneider’s game must improve going forward. Too many times teams dumped the puck in and forced the goaltender to make a play, and more than once it burned the Canucks for a goal. In addition, Schneider has a tendency to play on-net shoot-ins carelessly, often leaving huge rebounds in the middle of the slot for opposing forwards to scoop up.
Furthermore, and more concerning for Canucks fans, was it just a mirage or did Cory Schneider do a number 2 in the bed in games 3 and 4 of San Jose’s sweep of the Canucks? The goal to lose the series in overtime was about as bad as it gets. Schneider himself once admitted to “cramping under pressure” so is this a sign of a goalie who can’t handle the big stage, or of a goaltender learning how to cope with it?
My guess is that Schneider will be just fine, and his backup will either be the unproven Eddie Lack or a goalie received in any trade involving Luongo. Without the albatross of Luongo’s impending trade hanging around the team’s collective neck, Schneider will prove that he has the right stuff to lead his team into the next era of Canucks hockey. His stickhandling, positioning and concentration in big games are all things which are important to correct going forward, but something tells me he will amend these flaws in his game.
As for the other goalies on the farm, they’ll hold the fort at the AHL level until the Canucks can draft a better prospect than what they already have. In the unlikely situation that Lack is called up to replace Schneider, the organization will have to refill the cupboards with something in development. The more likely scenario involves Lack developing as a starter with whatever minor affiliate the Canucks purchase next season while a veteran netminder accepts the backup role to Cory Schneider all season long.