The Imperfections of Roberto Luongo

Patrick CwiklinskiCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2009

So does it come as any surprise that the Vancouver Canucks franchise goaltender and team captain, Roberto Luongo, has been taking recent heat from the media for letting in what they describe as “soft goals”?  

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize the weakest area of Luongo’s game because it’s no secret that when he tries to handle the puck outside of his crease, bad things tend to happen.

With that being, it’s also general knowledge that Luongo is the best thing to happen to Canucks since sliced bread so any talk of him not being the real deal is complete and utter crap.

But regardless of how big of a contributor and superstar you are, when you’re annual salary is higher than U.S. President Barack Obama’s; you’re guaranteed to be under some kind of scrutiny when things don’t go according to plan.

From a media perspective, the soft goal argument seems legitimate and understandable as most fans will even admit that Luongo has not been the sharpest they’ve seen him in the almost three seasons he’s played in Vancouver.

The tip of the iceberg was a goal that came this past Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche in which Luongo attempted to play the puck behind the net and ended up giving it away to Avalanche forward Darcy Tucker who capitalized on the easy target.

Luongo also gave up poor goals against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks last week, including an embarrassing 50-foot shot from a player that can’t even score goals in his wildest dreams, Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier.

With all the conclusive evidence, there’s not a shred of doubt in anyone’s mind that Luongo is no Marty Turco when it comes to puck-handling but as long as he’s stopping the puck when it really counts, who cares?

Anyone who’s ever watched Luongo play can tell you that he’s a perfectionist and that he’ll go back and do the something a thousand times just to get it right once.

So as you can imagine, anyone who is that particular about their performance probably doesn’t appreciate a group of reporters coming up to him and asking “Hey Roberto, so what’s up with those bad goals you’ve been letting in lately?” or you know, some kind of professional spin on the same question.

But you have to a love the response they got from him which basically said “I’m Roberto Luongo. Check my record.”

If you do, in fact, check Luongo’s record as of late you’ll see that he’s been pretty much money in the bank since the Canuck disaster that was the month of January.

He’s been a huge reason the Canucks have managed to set a new franchise record by winning ten straight games at GM Place as well as making the occasional highlight-reel save with timing that would even make Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova jealous, for those of us not familiar with those names, the 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing) Summer Olympic gold medalists for the women’s duet synchronised swimming event.

The point is that despite everything that’s happened with his wife having a baby last season and him coming back from the first real serious injury he’s had in his career this season, Luongo is a hell of a player and hands down the best player on the Canucks roster by a longshot.

But people will do what people have and always will do when they become bored with the way things are… complain; and that’s just the way life goes, people are quick to point out someone’s imperfections but when it comes to solving them, well that’s different story altogether.