NHL Playoffs 2011: Roberto Luongo vs. the Blackhawks: A Nightmare in Reality
NHL Playoffs 2011, One of the most compelling storylines that will be evident in the opening series of the playoffs between the Blackhawks and Canucks will be the mental battle between Chicago forwards and Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo.
Roberto Luongo has certainly emerged to be one of the best goalies of his generation. He has twice been a finalist for the Vezina Trophy; not including what could be his first win for that award this season. He also was the first goalie to be a captain since 1948.
But, like Patrick Ewing against the Bulls, and many other examples in sports where a superstar could not beat a team to get 'over the hump'; Luongo has the Blackhawks. Dustin Byfuglien was the craw in his side for the two previous seasons, but he is now with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Luongo when asked this week about Byfuglien refuted that 'Big Buff' was the sole reason, and gave credit to the current Blackhawks.
"I know you guys love to talk about him, but they've got some guys up there that do just as good a job as him," Luongo said. "They got some new players also that are big bodies in their lineup. So, I don't know what to tell you, bud. I don't think they won the Stanley Cup because of Dustin Byfuglien. There were 20 guys in the locker room that played well together as a team and that's what made them successful".
The Vancouver Sun believes that the bad memories for Luongo and the Canucks can be used as a positive. The fact that they are even talking about the series losses of the past two years means that it is something that is present in their mind.
If the horrors of yesterday (the last two seasons) are going to be brought back to Luongo by the Blackhawks; players like Tomas Kopecky and Bryan Bickell will need to do their best Dustin Byfuglien impression this series.
For More NHL Playoff News: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/661641-nhl-playoffs-2011-power-ranking-all-16-playoff-coaches
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