Boy are those people in Toronto dumb. Phil Kessel has the most points on the Maple Leafs yet so many of them blame him for Randy Carlyle’s firing.
Yesterday, Tony Gallagher wrote about how Kessel, the Leafs’ highest paid player, has performed at an elite level and is still somehow the scapegoat for the team’s miseries. Kessel is ranked ninth in the NHL scoring race with 41 points right now.
In Vancouver, we laugh at the stupidity of the Toronto hockey fans.
And then, as Roberto Luongo prepares to play against Vancouver for the Florida Panthers tonight, we spend a day debating his legacy.
I tweeted this yesterday.
There were those nights no one could beat Luongo. He was the best player on both teams so many times. All night long. No rest.
— omarcanuck (@omarcanuck) January 8, 2015
Raffi Cavoukian (@Raffi_RC), the children’s singer replied:
True. and yet we also remember way too many 5-hole goals.
That’s the way many Vancouverites still remember him.
Luongo is without a doubt one of the best players in Canucks history. He is far and away the best goaltender to play in Vancouver. Over the eight year span Luongo was a Canuck, he was the team’s most consistent, most important, and best player. While with the Canucks, he was a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the league MVP, the Lester B. Pearson Award as the MVP as awarded by other players, and twice for the Vezina trophy.
Luongo did let in bad goals and he had bad games. He had bad games on hockey’s biggest stage – such as game 6 in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins, when he let in 3 goals in the first period.
But Luongo’s numbers show he had many many more incredible games than bad ones. During those same Finals, he posted two shutout victories.
Luongo possessed reflexes that made him see pucks flying towards him like Neo sees bullets – in slow motion. Problem is, once Vancouver saw how good Luongo could be, they wanted him to be that incredible every second.
They expected him to be a god.
But he wasn’t. Not always anyways. Luongo was simply one of the best to ever put on a Canucks jersey.
And we were lucky to witness his time in Vancouver.