Today is the first installment of a new feature I like to call “Arguments I Hate”. The premise is simple. I will present something that a lot of people say or believe is true, and tell you why it’s nonsense. Today we’ll look at the assertion that Vancouver is a ‘goalie graveyard’.
Ok, maybe there’s not a true goaltending controversy in Canuckland these days, but if it weren’t for Roberto Luongo’s reputation, there would be. Luongo is having his worst season in a Canucks jersey, being pulled more times than ever, while Andrew Raycroft is enjoying the the best season by a Canucks backup since Alex Auld. Statistically speaking, Raycroft has better numbers. They share essentially the same save percentage (Luongo at .913, Raycroft at .914) and Raycroft has a better goals against average (Luongo at 2.55, Raycroft at 2.31). These stats should be skewed a bit given the fact that Luongo plays fatigued more often and usually plays the tougher teams, but this is still highly unusual for Luongo. Luongo typically has numbers far superior to his backup and is usually at the top of the league in GAA and SV%. This year, he’s middle of the pack, 18th in GAA and 17th in SV%. To put that in perspective, Dan Cloutier was 16th and 18th in GAA and SV% in 2003-04.
Roberto Luongo, yet again, is injured. He’ll be out at least a week with a rib injury. Whether or not it’s only a week remains to be seen, as Canucks management has been known to downplay injuries in the past.
This year has been the most competitive Canucks camp in recent memory, with so many players with a realistic chance to make the team. Head coach Alain Vigneault has a lot of tough decisions ahead of him, particularly concerning players on the bubble. Numerous young and old guys are fighting for spots at forward, defense and in goal.
Will the real Andrew Raycroft please stand-up? Andrew Raycroft, pictured above with the Calder Trophy, was named rookie of the year with the Bruins in 2003-04. Since then, he has had one sub-par year with the Bruins, two with the Leafs, and backed-up the immortal Petr Budaj last year in Colorado.