Sunday, October 19, 2014

Luongo's 67th shutout and the generational disparity with Patrick Roy

With his 67th career shutout, Luongo has bested Roy all-time.

After three straight wins and a shutout two nights ago, it is officially Miller Time in Vancouver. But hockey fans around here have obvious reason to follow the goaltending in Florida these days. And for that reason, it should be noted that Friday's showdown between the Panthers and Sabres had notable implications beyond Connor McDavid. 

Stopping all 18 shots against CoHo and company, Roberto Luongo recorded his 67th career shutout last night. In the process, he surpassed Patrick Roy for 13th overall on the all-time shutouts list.

Granted, that's not quite as shocking as other recent hockey news out of Florida. (If Lu had waited two more games to pitch the shutout against St. Patrick's Colorado Avalanche himself -- well, there's a legitimate story.) Nonetheless, passing one of the top three goalies of all-time and father of the butterfly in any major stat is a significant achievement. But there's a legitimate counter-argument worth exploring.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Radim Vrbata: The Canucks' shiniest new toy and his top ten career goals

This guy. And everything he means to the Sedins
this season. Thank goodness. (Flickr: Bridget Samuels)
It's hard to decide which of the Canucks' shiniest new toys -- Radim Vrbata or Ryan Miller -- could end up being more impactful this season. On paper, Miller's Vezina and $6 million salary indicate that the key cog to Vancouver's "New Game" will be in net. But if the season-opener is any indication, Vrbata on the right side of the Sedins is going to give Miller a very healthy run for best off-season signing.

It's not that Vrbata is going to be more valuable than Miller in and of himself. But what Vrbata brings to the Sedins is something that they have so sorely missed in the past few seasons of their gradual statistical decline -- legitimate finish. Last season was many things, but it was not a disaster in net with Lack. The possibility of Vrbata reigniting the Sedins' point-per-game form will ultimately help this team more than the difference between Miller and Lack.