On SportsRantz Radio’s “The Hockey Power Hour”; I dished it out to Vancouver’s goalie, Roberto Luongo and how horrid he has been playing for Vancouver. And Luongo has grown to absolutely hate the month of October. Why? Because the Canucks goaltender hasn’t played well in the first month of the season since 2006-07. True to form, his numbers after the first seven games of the 2011-12 season are dreadful: 3.54 goals-against average, .869 save percentage. And that folks, is awful for a goaltender.
Today marks the first of November so whatever excuses Luongo and the Canucks had aren’t going to fly with the media and fans. And that goes for the rest of the Canucks, whose shoddy defensive coverage hasn’t exactly helped out their embattled goalie.
Luongo is expected to start tonight in Calgary, where two teams with mediocre records look to build on their recent play. The Canucks (5-5-1) are coming off a 7-4 win over the Capitals while the Flames (4-4-1) have won two in a row. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault met with the media yesterday to discuss the end of the perennially nightmarish month for his team.
“Today is the last day of October, but a switch is not going to turn on where we automatically start winning in November,” he said, as reported by the Vancouver Province. “We’re going to have to work hard. Those are the key ingredients.”
It’s hard to explain why October has been such a challenging month for the Canucks. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe they get too excited for Halloween. Or maybe — just maybe — it’s a different reason each season.
For example, this past October was the first October the current ensemble of Canucks has played after they lost the Stanley Cup final in heartbreaking fashion, the city was torn apart by rioters, and their goalie was roasted over the coals all summer for his performance in what was the team’s best chance in franchise history to win a championship.
Think that might have played a part in their slow start?
Or was it just…October? Tonight will be the first tall tale sign of whether it was just October or a downfall of Goaltending.