Saturday, February 23, 2013

Luongo ties Broda in all-time shutouts, passes Hasek in games played

Unfortunately for anybody watching, it was a classic 1-0 game against the Predators last night in Nashville.  Fortunately for Roberto Luongo, it meant facing a season-low 23 shots for his second shutout in eight starts.  And in the process of blanking the Preds, he made two significant moves up the NHL's all-time goaltending lists.  Luongo simulatensouly tied Turk Broda for 15th overall in shutouts (62) and surpassed Dominik Hasek to enter the top 20 in games played (736).

Luongo remains behind Hasek in wins (344 to 389) and shutouts (62 to 81), however.

They certainly don't have the same dramatic value as the kind of achievements Canucks fans have been used to this past week, but the pair of feats are worth mentioning, nonetheless.  If not for some serious posturing on Mike Gillis' part, Luongo wouldn't even be here to move up the NHL's historical ranks as a Canuck.  Instead, he's leading the league for Vancouver with a miniscule 1.45 GAA to go along with a .941 save percentage and his pair of shutouts.

Make no mistake, Luongo's days in Vancouver remain numbered.  But the three-time Vezina nominee is certainly doing his part to make sure the Canucks get fair value when Gillis finally does pull the trigger.

As long as we're talking all-time stats, however, if Alain Vigneault continues to split the starts with Luongo still here, expect him to also pass Chris Osgood's 744-game mark for 19th overall by early-April.  You're safe for now, Tom Barrasso.  Meanwhile, next spot up in all-time shutouts, the Montreal native has none other than Patrick Roy in his sights.  At 66 clean sheets, Roy's total will be a stretch for Luongo to match this season.  In his seven years with the Canucks, he has averaged a shutout roughly every 11 to 12 games.  Assuming he finishes with 24 appearances or so, he's statistically already met his quota this season.

All-time stats of February 22, 2012
Wherever he ultimately ends up, you can count on Luongo to continue his climb up the all-time statistical ladder.  It isn't hard to imagine him in the top-10 for virtually all major categories within just a few years.  At age 33, he currently stands 125 games, 57 wins and 14 shutouts away from 10th overall in all respects. 

Cory Schneider may be the Canucks' future, but he has got some serious catching up to do.


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