Sunday, October 09, 2005

Is Roberto Luongo the Best Player in the NHL?

Whenever pundits name the best player in the NHL, rarely is the name Roberto Luongo mentioned. I think it should be.

Luongo has blossomed into a franchise goalie with the Florida Panthers. In the 2003/04 season, I would argue that Luongo was the best player in the NHL. He put up a spectacular league leading saves percentage of .931 despite playing behind the weak Florida defence that forced him to face lots of very good shots. I think he was the most vauluable player in the NHL that season. He didn't even get nominated for the Hart Trophy. The nominations went to Martin St Louis (the eventual winner), Jarome Iginla and Martin Brodeur. Voters have a bias toward players who are on better teams then Florida. If a team cannot make the playoffs, then their players lose a lot of consideration for the Hart trophy. They can be incredibly valuable to their team (where would Florida have been in 03/04 without Luongo?) but not happen to be on a team that is good enough to make the playoffs. Hockey is a team game. No one player can make a team a contender by himself - so it is unreasonable to say that he is not valuable without his team making playoffs. In 03/04, Luongo didn't even win the Vezina trophy as best goalie. Martin Brodeur won the Vezina. Brodeur faced far less shots then Luongo. He faced less quality shots then Luongo. Of course Brodeur had more wins and a better goals against average, these are consequences of playing on a better team. Luongo was the better goaltender.

This season is no different. Luongo has played three games so far for Florida. He has two shutouts so far. He has only allowed two goals all season. Luongo's GAA is 0.68. His saves percentage is .979. These numbers are incredible. They are unsustainable - of course they will drop somewhat over the season. Still, most likely, Luongo will have dominant numbers when the season is completed.

I think Roberto Luongo is the best player in the NHL today. I think the media has been slow to recognize this because he is in a non-traditional hockey market that has had limited success. If Luongo keeps it up, the media will be forced to acknowledge this, but it has been going on for a while now.

Excellent post. I agree that Luongo is currently one of the best players in the NHL (certainly the best goalie) and should have been a Hart finalist last year.

Of course it's beyond the abilities of any one player to take a poor club to the playoffs--I don't know why Luongo is often penalized for this obvious fact. Did Mario Lemieux have a bad year in 1988? He led the league with 70 goals and 168 pts and won the Hart Trophy, despite the fact that the Penguins didn't make the playoffs. Certainly I'm not comparing Luongo to Lemieux, but it's foolish to penalize a player simply for playing on a bad team.

A few days ago somebody asked me to look up which goalies had the highest powerplay save percentage in 2004. Here are the results for Vezina candidates:

Luongo: 91.6% (highest in the league)
Kiprusoff: 90.1%
Nabokov: 89.0%
Roloson: 89.0%
Turco: 88.9%
Raycroft: 88.4%
Belfour: 88.3%
Brodeur: 87.8%
Vokoun: 84.3%

This should end the myth that Luongo faced "easy" shots. He shut the door during the hardest situations, better than any other goalie in the leauge.
some spoke of a powerful jinx put upon the vancouver canucks. legend says that it is a 12 year curse......but legend is often mistold. a 12 season curse was long ago place on the canucks making them advance to the stanly cup final. it happened in '82, it happened in '94 and many thought the jinx would continue into the 2006 season.....but they were wrong. the jinx, some say is a 12 year jinx....... but my friends, it is a 12 season jinx. as there was a lockout and one year in hockey time was missed.....this is our year.

many also say that the 12 year jinx is that the canucks nobely make it to the final and lose, but this year there is a factor that has never been considered........................................ .................................................. ...

In quebec a young french speaking woman became unexplainably pregnant some 28 years ago but an explanation can now be taken from the secret scripture that jim hughson fortold.

after a drunken night of the gods zeus and some powerful chick god concieved a child. this unwanted child was aborted. the lost sould searched for a worthy womb but got lazy so settled for a frenchwoman. 9 months later she gave birth and the great one appeared to her in a dream and said "you shall name him roberto and he shall be known as the great italian/french goalie who fucks over all."

some say luongo is just a man. but tell me my friends, if he is just a man then explain the unusual amount of miracles he pulls off. for a mere mortal could never weild weapons as powerful as his.

His goalie stick they say, was carved out of an entire tree with lightning and thunder.
His helmet was made sweet love to by kirk mclean and grant fhur simultainiously.
His pads made from old power rangers costumes
His glove was blessed by patrick roy but luongo cast it away and said "Patrick Roy??? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM???? I AM FUCKING ROBERTO LUONGO!!!!!!" he then shouted "THIS IS SPARTA" while he kicked roy down his front steps causing the veteran goalie to retire.
Luongo then needed his own glove. he went in search for one worthy of his noble hand and when such a glove could not be found luongo killed a bear with his own 2 hands and made a glove out of bear leather.
his blocker was simply made from kryptonite because nobody fucks with kryptonite
His helmet, as legend goes, is merely for show and protects him not for luongod is no hockey puck's bitch
his helmet gets knocked off sometimes but then Kevin Bieksa, the man whose name no retards can say and protector of the Luongod steps in and starts unleashing a beating to the offenders chest

and this is why my friends, luongo shall break the jinx leading the vancouver canucks of 2007 to glory

spread the word my friends and know that the prophecy was foretold by Patrick Watson
(nex: Pat4d4 check me out)
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