Canucks Roberto Luongo, NOT Mr. October!

Nucks IceManCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2009

DENVER - OCTOBER 03:  Goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on during a break in the action against the Colorado Avalanche during NHL action at the Pepsi Center on October 3, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. Luongo had 24 saves while giving up three goals as the Avalanche defeated the Canucks 3-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

So if this guy is under .500 for October (17-18-1) since he joined the Canucks, this year, when the points mean more than ever, why not play Andrew Raycroft at least once a week? He sure could not be any worse than the current play of Luongo.

Let’s see, last night 4 goals on 12 shots. Colorado game, three goals on 27 shots and Calgary, 5 goals on 23 shots. That works out to a .820 save percentage, a 4.55 GAA, and a three game losing streak to start the season.

Luongo has been a slow starter since he arrived in Vancouver, not sure why, it is what it is. What have I noticed in the past four seasons? That he is getting beaten early in the game, usually within the first six shots and then it seems to go downhill from there.

It seems when Luongo gets a lot of shots early and makes the saves, it allows him to get into the game and he gets stronger.  Maybe that's just the way it is, maybe it's his goaltending DNA, because it was like that on most nights when he played for the Florida Panthers

Whatever the case may be, these possible six points, even this early in the season, may be the difference between making the playoffs and not, never mind winning the division. Before you fans go planning the parade route, remember that this team will have 14 straight road games leading up to, and after the Olympics. We will not know until then how much of a cushion they may have to build up before this monster takes place, but a good start was imperative.

I didn’t see this coming after attending training camp and salivating over the depth. With the promising undefeated preseason, the team looked solid right from the back end to the front. But here we are again with a one line team, no secondary scoring, no one looking like they can step forward, and a goalie who wishes he could skip October.

Back to Lunongo—this was the first time in recent memory that Coach Alain Vigneault has given the hook to Roberto so early in a game, so early in the season, and the home opener to boot. Can’t say that you can blame him when your goaltender is struggling so badly. To put your club behind every game by three to four goals and expect them to come back is like raising the Titanic.

Raycroft came in and was pitching a shut-out until Mikael Samuelsson took that penalty. The resulting power play goal put the game out of reach, but otherwise, Raycroft looked a whole lot sharper than Louie.

So what to do? You have to play Luongo to try and get him up to speed, but you surely cannot afford to get on an early season losing streak.

Somewhere in this, the coach has to allow Raycroft to steady the ship until November when Luongo can get on that All Star form that makes everyone forget October.

I still think playing Raycroft once a week would accomplish that and isn’t that why he was brought in?