Monday, January 12, 2009

Luongo's Return Imminent

Roberto Luongo has declared himself 100% healthy and could return as early as Thursday against the Coyotes.

Luongo's return comes after the Canucks lost yet another game in which Curtis Sanford let in a bad goal. The record without Luongo (9-11-3) has put the Canucks playoff chances in jeopardy. The Canucks are still comfortably in the mix, but a prolonged slump could make things very dicey as we found out last season. Still, it's hard to imagine this year's team going in the tank like that.

The Difference Between Luongo and Mediocre Goaltending

In Luongo's absense:

  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • One Goal Losses: 5
  • Two Goal Losses: 4*

* Of the 4 two goal losses, one included an empty net goal and in the other three the insurance goal was scored late in the third period.

Add it all up and in 12 out of the 14 games the Canucks failed to win, they were either tied or within a goal late in the third period.

That's nine losses and three OTL's that could have gone the other way had Sanford and company not given up that one bad goal or had made that one extra save.

Conservatively, if Luongo wins 3 out of those games and turns two of those shootout losses into points the Canucks would have 8 more points.

That's the difference between being in the playoffs by 5 points or by 13 points.

That's the difference between Luongo and all those terrible goals we saw against Schneider and Sanford.

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