Question: what do Mike Smith, Cristobal Huet and Vesa Toskala have in common? Answer: they’re the only NHL starting netminders with a worse save percentage than Roberto Luongo this season. That’s right, he’s 27th in save percentage among starting goalies! He’s also 26th in goals against average among starters. I know it’s early, but it’s not THAT early. We’re seven games into the season, that’s 8% for you math junkies. At what point does this become a concern? It’s freak-out time for a few message boarders, but I say give it a couple more games. But he’s got to be their best player, no excuses.
Luongo is known for slow starts, but not like this. This is the worst start to a season he’s had as a Canuck, with arguably the best team in front of him. They’ve limited the shots on goal that he’s faced, and he needs to be able to play well in games where he sees limited shots. I’m still optimistic that he’ll get out of this funk, but if the funk lasts a little too long, it may cost them a playoff spot. It may also cost him a spot on Team Canada.
An elite Roberto Luongo makes the Canucks an elite team. A sub-par Luongo makes the team a sub-par team. It’s as simple as that.