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The Goods: No stopping Luongo

Saturday, 04.12.2010 / 12:00 AM / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: No stopping Luongo

Statement made.

The Vancouver Canucks, looking to exorcise some demons versus Chicago for a 7-1 shellacking at the hands of the Blackhawks 13 days ago, won their fourth straight game beating Chicago 3-0 Friday night at the United Center.

Tanner Glass, Christian Ehrhoff and Henrik Sedin scored for the Canucks, while Roberto Luongo was masterful stopping all 32 shots faced for his second shutout of the season.

On November 20th, Roberto Luongo was pulled after giving up four goals in 35 minutes to the Blackhawks, but on this night the only thing he pulled was incredible saves out of his repertoire.

Right from puck drop Luongo was in full form for the 53rd donut of his career stopping 14 shots in the opening period.

Trying to choose Luongo’s best save of the game is a fool’s errand, but two worthy candidates were his stops on Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane early in the second. Sharp got in alone on Luongo and was turned aside before the netminder robbed Kane with a two-pad stack to keep the game scoreless.

Glass opened the scoring 11:18 into the second converting a loose puck in the Chicago crease past Marty Turco to put Vancouver up 1-0 and Luongo finished out the period with jaw-dropping saves on Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Toews.

After Ehrhoff scored his fourth goal of the season, a power play marker, 5:06 into the third, Blackhawks fans started to clear out knowing that a two-goal cushion was all Luongo needed to break Chicago’s streak of 85 games without being blanked.

“He was outstanding tonight for us,” said defenceman Dan Hamhuis, who assisted on Glass’ game-winner. “We had a few breakdowns there in the second period and that was real key time for us and him playing as well as he did gave us a chance to get that first one and we then come out for a strong third.”

The Canucks, currently 14-7-3 and first in the Northwest Division with 31 points, are now five points ahead of where they were through 24 games last season and Vancouver’s current four-game winning streak is the reason for that.

Since losing 7-1 to the Blackhawks, the Canucks have gone 4-1-0, outscoring their opposition 23-8 with 12 different players having scored at least once over that stretch.

Luongo has been equally impressive allowing more than two goals just a single time, while turning aside 128 of 136 shots, none bigger than his 32 in this rematch with Vancouver’s new rival.

“We were embarrassed in that last game at home, so we wanted to come in here and have a good effort and obviously it was a huge win for us,” said Luongo, who has a Canucks franchise record 26 shutouts.

“This is a game we’d looked forward to for a long time,” added Henrik Sedin, “and it seems like it brings the best out of each team and tonight was no different. We had a lot of guys stepping up and it was fun to watch.”

Vancouver had nine players on point-streaks of at least two games and five players, Alex Burrows, the Sedins, Alex Edler and Hamhuis, kept their streaks alive.

LUONGO THE POET


Not only was Roberto Luongo poetry in motion on the ice, but poetry also tied into his first period segment on TSN.

James Duthie always brings the best of Luongo and a third hilarious sketch proved that again. In this one, Luongo, who wrote the forward for Duthie’s new book, showed off his lyrical skills by reciting poetry. Seriously.

Here’s Luongo’s three best poems.

“TWINS”

Daniel, Henrik, Henrik, Daniel,
Ballet on blades, red-headed blades.
It’s been four years now I bare witness to your art,
And yet, I still can’t tell you dudes apart.

“BYFUGLIEN”

Human eclipse, rhinoceros hips,
Who will laugh last, when I slash your calf.
Bring me peace, make it cease,
Get your big ass out of my crease.

“SHOOTOUT BLUES”

65 minutes, then a stupid gimmick,
Tarnishing my name after a 48-save game.
Five-on-five I’ll keep you alive,
Four-on-four you will not score,
Then you, shootout, I despise you,
I will not lie, why can’t we just end it in a tie.

NOTES

The Canucks are 3-2-1 when appearing on TSN this season; the trio of Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and Jeff Tambellini combined for 15 points (6-9-15) in three outings coming into this game, but they were held off the scoreboard and limited to just five shots.