Now we've hit a wall - A look at Roberto Luongo
Quick - name the Canucks back up
Ok.. It's Jason LaBarbera.. and guess what else? Both he and Luongo are listed as 6'3".. what the hell guys?
That's not what we're going to talk about here though.
The biggest match up is the battle between the pipes - Khabby vs. Luongo. We've seen the teams are close with the forwards and the D-Men. And honestly they're not that far apart in either department.
The Canucks biggest strength is Luongo - he's a monster in the net.
#1 / Goalie / Vancouver Canucks
Apr 04, 1979
|2008 - Roberto Luongo||54||3181||33||13||7||5||124||2.34||1542||1418||.920||9|
How he wasn't nominated for the Vezina Trophy I don't really get... Backstrom is overrated...
I shouldn't have to tell you that Luongo is pretty capable of winning this series on his own. He can steal just about any game he wants if he's on. If the Hawks want to win they'll have to find a way to beat this man. Not an easy task.. You can try to rattle him but he doesn't wilt under pressure. And he doesn't like it when pesky reporters ask him silly questions either..
In the series against the Blues Lou put up insane numbers. A .962 SV% and 1.15 GAA with 1 shut out. And it's not like he's a stranger to great post-season play either. In '06-'07 he had a 1.77 GAA and a .941 SV%.. still.. even with those numbers.. the Nucks lost.
The Sedins scare because they're insane - Luongo scares me because he's insanely good.
Lucky for us, Khabby is showing he's no slouch:
#39 / Goalie / Chicago Blackhawks
Jan 13, 1973
|2008 - Nikolai Khabibulin||42||2467||25||8||7||1||96||2.33||1192||1096||.919||3|
Khabby's numbers aren't nearly as impressive this postseason - .914 and 2.52 - but there's still reason to hope. When Khabby was good in the first round, he was very good, when he was bad he was pretty bad, when he was great he was unbeatable.
Just check out these SV%'s
The first two road games were rough - but there were rough on all the Hawks, not just Khabby. If Khabby can step up and play like he did in the last two games though, it could be the best goalie match up in the playoffs so far.
Here's something else to be concerned about though - as good as Khabby has been career wise against the Flames, he's been that bad against the Canucks.
WARNING: Don't read this if you don't want me to bum out your high... but career wise - he's 6-16 with 1 tie and 2 OTLs against the Canucks with a 3.39 GAA and a .887 SV%... yikes. They're one team that just seems to have his number.
So that really needs to change. Or we might see Huet get in a few games.
And just for fun - Huet is 2-2 with one tie against the Nucks with a 2.55GAA and .911SV%.
These two teams are incredibly close on paper but this is the key match up. The Hawks need Khabby to step up his game and keep the Hawks in this because you simply can't hope for Luongo to play poorly.