Frankly, I’m amazed at the amount of debate over which goalie should start in game 7 for the Canucks-Blackhawks series. Currently on the Team 1040 website, their poll shows 53% in favour of Luongo, 47% in favour of Schneider.
Personally, I would have given Luongo the start in game 6 as well. I didn’t hate the decision, but I didn’t like it either. Lets face it though, Schneider was given the opportunity to win game 6, and FAILED. The team played well in front of him, and he let in 3 goals through just over 2 periods. Had Luongo performed as Schneider did, the widespread feeling would be that Luongo failed. So why should Schneider be held to a lesser standard? People are overlooking this because he’s the young guy, but he let in 3 goals on 20 shots… and 2 of them were BAD GOALS! The two puck handling mishaps were the two worst goals let in by any Canucks goaltender in the series.
Now I’m not trying to blast Cory Schneider here (he played well apart from the two gaffs), but I think the criticism about Luongo’s play has been grossly overplayed. Luongo’s numbers aren’t great, mostly due to the team in front of him having two straight no shows in game 4 and game 5. The goal most criticized in game 5 was the Marian Hossa goal. Nevermind the fact that it was a shot from a world class player in the slot with Alex Edler sticking his stick in the way. The only goal Luongo let in in game 6 was a rebound after he made an amazing save on a deflected shot going top corner with traffic in front.
Luongo should start game 7 because he deserves it. He’s won a game 7 in 2007 (that year the team blew a 3-1 series lead) and a gold medal in the Olympics. If the team plays like they did in game 6 in front of him in game 7, they should win.