Rollie the goalie Melanson getting back to the basics with Luongo
Going into the 2010-11 NHL season the Vancouver Canucks are one of the favorite teams to win the Stanley Cup, and with good reason. They have a solid top six with the Sedins, Burrows, Kesler, Samuelsson and Raymond. The bottom six are filled out with some veteran grinders in Malholtra, Torres, possibly Morrison & Schaefer. Plus they also have two promising young skilled forwards in Hodgson and Schroeder.
The defensive depth issues were addressed in the off season by acquiring Ballard and Hamhuis; who will join Ehrhoff, Edler, Bieksa and O’Brien for a soild #1-6. Yes they may not have that Norris Trophy caliber D man but anytime you have five defensman who have all played top four minutes for most of their careers its a good thing. It’s a very versatile group with puck movers and stay at home defenders; they can mix and match with eachother all season long.
Put all that aside and the #1 key factor to the Canucks having a legitimate chance of winning the Cup come downs to Roberto Luongo in net.
Last year Luongo had flashes of brilliance but was not as consistent as usual down the stretch of the regular season. It resulted in his worst regular season statistical season with Vancouver. And even worse in the playoffs having the 2nd worst GAA & SV% of all starting goalies.
Many people can blame the poor results on horrible defense which defiantly played a factor into Luongo struggling. But, bottom line if a goalie is that good he will be able to overcome his teams defensive deficiencies, at least more so than Luongo did.
I was very angry to see this performance as were many other Canucks fan. The only reason for getting so worked up is due to the high standard we all hold Luongo accountable to.
And so he should being one of the highest paid goalies in the NHL. Plus, it’s not like he isn’t capable. We have seen him dominate in net, just think back to that playoff series against Dallas in 2007 winning it by himself. The Canucks got shutout in three games in a seven game series and still won, what’s that saying? Oh yeah and he was nominated for the Vezina & MVP that year.
At the age of 31 years old and only three years removed it’s not unreasonable to believe Luongo can back to those dominating ways. And if he does Vancouver will be a very difficult team to beat, being of the most complete in the NHL.
Now moving forward into this season the Canucks have decided to shake things up in order to help Luongo. Gone is former goaltending coach Ian Clark in is Rollie to goalie Melanson.
After reading this great blog in the local Vancouver province.com website for its newspaper publication Jason Botchford found this great video of Rolanson explaining how things will be different.
Or shall we say get back to the basics and try to duplicate what worked so well with Luongo a few years back.
I think it’s great the way Melanson talks about Luongo getting further back in his net and reviewing the difference in his net position from three years ago versus now.
And being more square to the puck and being more agresive and challenging shooters against odd man rushes.
It only makes sense to try and duplicate what worked in the past. I don’t know why it’s something Ian Clark never thought of doing last year.
The fact that Vancouver made it to the Western finals with Luongo not playing well means this team has a lot of hope. Becuase the offense will be as good as last year, the D has improved and Luongo can’t get any worse.
Melanson provides Luongo and all the Canucks fans with hope that he can get back to his dominating ways and be one of the best netminders in the NHL.
Let me tell you I was at the pre season game last night and he looked very sharp from a fundamental stand point. Which is exaclty what we all want to see.