Enough about LeBron. What’s up with this Roberto Luongo?

Roberto Luongo after being benched in Game 6. (AP photo)

Roberto Luongo after being benched. (AP photo)

Roberto Luongo plays goalie for the Vancouver Canucks. These are his numbers in the Stanley Cup finals, which remain ongoing largely because of him:

Games 1, 2 and 5: Faces 97 Boston shots, stops 95 of them, wins two games 1-0 and the third 3-2 in overtime.

Games 3,4 and 6: Faces 64 Boston shots, fails to stop 15 of them, loses all three games (one 8-0) and gets pulled twice.

To recap: For the three games in Vancouver, Luongo stood, as they say approvingly in hockey, on his head; for the three games in Boston, he shoulda stood in bed.

Hockey can be an odd game, but this is beyond odd. A world-class goalie — he was Canada’s man between the pipes when it won Olympic gold last year — has been world-class on his sport’s biggest stage only half the time. But it’s not as if Canucks fans weren’t expecting it. Writing in Sports Illustrated last month, Brian Cazeneuve sketched the can’t-bear-to-look feeling the locals had toward their goalie in a story entitled, “The Good, the Bad and Roberto Luongo.”

Indeed, Cazeneuve’s opening was provided by a female customs officer at Vancouver’s airport. She asked what the writer thought of Luongo. Cazeneuve said, “He’s playing well.”

She said, “Come on, he’s a choker, right?”

Luongo was benched in Game 4 of the finals. He worked a shutout in Game 5 to put Vancouver on the cusp of its first Cup, which would also mark the first for a Canadian team since 1993. He lasted minutes in what could have been the clincher: Eight shots, three goals, Game 7 upcoming Wednesday.

Genteel Bostonians found this hilarious, and not just because their team was winning. Luongo had also offered a critique of the one goal surrendered in Game 5 by the Bruins’ Tim Thomas, who has been standing on his head the past two months. “It’s an easy save for me,” Luongo averred, prompting an impressive bit of tongue-biting from Thomas himself.

Already this month we’ve witnessed — Clevelanders will appreciate the usage of the word — the world’s most talented basketball turning into Marvin Williams. Now we’re being treated to a psychodrama of the highest order: A great goalie who can’t decide if he’s Gump Worsley or Bill Buckner. Who says sports aren’t entertaining?

By Mark Bradley

58 comments Add your comment

rawdawg

June 14th, 2011
3:30 pm

Mark Bradley

June 14th, 2011
3:33 pm

A daily double of kudos for rawdawg.

juvenal

June 14th, 2011
3:36 pm

Andy

June 14th, 2011
3:37 pm

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Rickster

June 14th, 2011
3:37 pm

mike

June 14th, 2011
3:38 pm

Sign of the apocalypse: Bradley doing an article about Hockey and during the Stanley Cup finals no doubt.

mike

June 14th, 2011
3:39 pm

Andy are you tired from all the boring basketball games you’ve been watching?

Matt from MN

June 14th, 2011
3:39 pm

Roberto, has been just Jekyll and Hyde in this whole series. He was just god-awful in Beantown. He better get it together at home, or he’s going to get run out of the NW if the Canuckleheads blow this series.

Thrash

June 14th, 2011
3:40 pm

Why don’t you ask Atlanta Spirit what they think about Big Bob Luongo?

ted williams head

June 14th, 2011
3:40 pm

Pains me to hear this but why should we care, we dont follow hockey anymore

B

June 14th, 2011
3:42 pm

Hey LeBron! How’s my Dirk taste? I’m sure there is something tim thomas could make up…

mike

June 14th, 2011
3:42 pm

My guess is that he has been drugged by the cleaning staff at the hotel he has been staying at in Boston. They probably put something in the complimentary coffee or smeared his drinking glass with some paralyzing narcotic.

Mat"T"

June 14th, 2011
3:43 pm

It has been a crazy series! Not since Jeckyl and Hyde has there been a person with more of a split personality than Luongo! After his comments in the post game of game 5 he deserves to lose in my opinion and the Vezina Trophy needs to go to Thomas.

mike

June 14th, 2011
3:46 pm

Is hockey dead in Atlanta?

Mat"T"

June 14th, 2011
3:48 pm

Following Hockey-I am a proud Atlantan who will always follow hockey-What about the IHL Championship won by The Atlanta Knights!?! Anybody remember how the Omni rocked that night we won The Turner Cup! Looking forward to the Glads winning the Kelly Cup!

Mark Bradley

June 14th, 2011
3:51 pm

I was actually a big Boston Bruin fan growing up. Used to listen to games on WBZ.

PMC

June 14th, 2011
3:55 pm

Tim Thomas should just point out that he would have stopped at least 12 of the ones that Luongo missed in Boston.

PMC

June 14th, 2011
3:57 pm

The other question, why don’t the Hawks know that Marvin Williams is freaking worthless

CONservative Johnson

June 14th, 2011
3:57 pm

Who cares is a better question? I now DVR all sports shows I watch and fast forward through any hockey talk . . .

Iris Bittencourt

June 14th, 2011
4:04 pm

What time is it in Boston?

15 past Luongo!!!!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 14th, 2011
4:09 pm

When did Tim Thomas retire from the NBA and turn to Hockey? He should stop alot he is like 6′9, hahahaha!

Darth Thrasher

June 14th, 2011
4:27 pm

Oh, so N O W ajc.com wants to start covering Hockey!

Bulldog Joe

June 14th, 2011
4:27 pm

Roberto is just pacing himself for his big moment in front of the home folks, just like he did in the Olympics.

No need in burning any extra effort in meaningless road games.

Bruce Levenson

June 14th, 2011
4:30 pm

Roberto Luongo?

Oh, I can go see him play against the Capitals when the Canucks come here to DC next season.

Michael, get over here.

It is time for you to give my 4:30 stress relief.

Darth Thrasher

June 14th, 2011
4:32 pm

AJC = ASG with a Bigger Vocabulary

Bulldog Joe

June 14th, 2011
4:33 pm

Roberto is “The Frozen One”.

Curious George

June 14th, 2011
4:35 pm

Who will win FEWER championships, LeBron James or Coach Mark Richt?

Woody Paige

June 14th, 2011
4:46 pm

Luongo? More like LuBrongo! Amirite?

Sam

June 14th, 2011
5:17 pm

Crazy, crazy series. Serious home ice advantage in this one. I rarely saw Luongo play so poorly when he was in FL. Oh sure he had his off nights, but 3 out of 6 horrible games?? I tell you one thing, the Sedin twins don’t deserve the Cup the way they have disappeared in the Finals. Milbury was right with his comments. If the Canucks do win, the Sedins should bow down to their team mates.

EA

June 14th, 2011
5:22 pm

Our hockey team moves and NOW we get Stanley Cup coverage! Let’s add salt to the wound. Luongo’s comments about TIm Thomas sure came back to haunt him. It is so great to Rich Peverly having a good playoff. It is amazing how good those ex-Thrasher players can be when they are surrounded by good players. GO BRUINS! I am beyond SICK of hearing how hockey is Canada’s sport and is it is time for the cup to return there.

Who Cares?

June 14th, 2011
7:23 pm

Yawn……………………………

Dawgwild

June 14th, 2011
7:53 pm

NHL blows donkey nuts! I went to a few Thrashers games but now that they left town. The whole NHL is dead to me.

Sage of Bluesland

June 14th, 2011
8:12 pm

I’m shocked; shocked. Mark Bradley has written more about hockey in the past two months than he did during the past ten years.

How sad. I don’t know if that is sadder than when he did write about the Thrashers, it was usually praising Don Waddell and pointing out what a “nice guy” he is.

(What a great judge of competence; The tool-Bradley said the same thing over and over again about Pete Babcock….Now, I wonder why on this pattern? You do the math, folks.)

Just Me

June 14th, 2011
8:21 pm

Hockey with a whopping 32 post. I guess we know why the NHL don’t sell in Atlanta.

Just Me

June 14th, 2011
8:22 pm

I had to check this post to find out who Mark was talking about. I didn’t recognize the name.

zulu

June 14th, 2011
8:35 pm

The games in Vancouver have been very exciting even if you care nothing for either team. This shapes up for a classic game 7.

tbone

June 14th, 2011
8:57 pm

Mark, do us all a favor and keep ignoring hockey like you did for 11 years that the Thrashers were in town. You do not know anything about the sport and you did nothing but criticize the sport when we had a team. I find it the height of irony that you are now recognizing hockey and in you typical manner, you have nothing positive to say at all. Please for the love of God, stop talking anything hockey. Also please stop giving kudos when some idiot types FIRST on your online articles.

Mr. Obvious

June 14th, 2011
10:23 pm

Sports writers for major newspapers, and even for other papers such as The AJC, are usually required by their editors to write a piece every so often about a sport that don’t usually cover and about which they really don’t know much.

This superficial, lame entry is Mark’s editorial “assignment” for this portion of June 2011.

Just Me

June 14th, 2011
10:53 pm

People it is Hockey! It is about as relevant as the NBA, Soccer, and Golf.

Just Me

June 14th, 2011
10:56 pm

The real issue is that 13% of high School seniors can’t pass the History portion of the High School Graduation test. I am sure they can tell you all about the Kardashians or Paris Hilton or some rap singers life.

I.C. Wiener

June 14th, 2011
11:05 pm

Hey, a hockey article in the AJC!

A day late and a dollar short.

Kevin

June 14th, 2011
11:29 pm

Been a great series.

Luongo should shut his mouth, Thomas has outperformed him in the entire series and has carried his team to game seven.

Thomas will win the Vezina regardless of what happens tomorrow and Luongo is pure jealous.

tbone

June 14th, 2011
11:32 pm

It is just hockey? Hell, you have enough time to write four comments on a hockey post. If kids being ignorant of their own history is your major concern, then how about trying to change that trend? No? Well I guess I will just go to a golf, soccer or hockey post and complain about something like those damn historically ignorant kids. That seems to be the best arena for that debate! After that I think I will go to a culinary page and preach the greatness of croquet and the lost art playing bridge. Those culinary arts are overrated in comparison of the skill and grace involved in the the great games of croquet and bridge. You see what I am doing here? It is called being ridiculously obtuse and not making a point! If you were going for the intellectually superior angle, you failed the moment you wrote about social issues on a sports page about hockey.

Paul in RDU

June 14th, 2011
11:55 pm

This has been a great Stanley Cup Finals. I’ll be in Uno in Dover, NH tomorrow night cheering on the Bruins. These people up here take it quite seriously.

Sam

June 15th, 2011
5:48 am

Some of the comments on here indicate exactly why the Thrashers left town, besides the horrible ownership group. So sad to see such ignorance. Being an Atlanta sports fan is embarassing. Mark Bradley, I for one enjoyed your writing and I’m sorry you have to cater to some of these posters. Hopefully most are just juveniles. They write like it anyway.

Paddy

June 15th, 2011
6:54 am

Hey………..I was out of town. Have the ASG announced the “pick your seat” night for Thrasher games yet??? I just love when the ASG gives back to its fan base and says “thank you”!

gsuu

June 15th, 2011
8:08 am

Roberto Luongo? Thought it was some soccer player. Why the hell are you doing a hockey story NOW?

loudmouth losers

June 15th, 2011
8:35 am

I am neither a fan of the Heat or Mavs but cannot believe how the nation of idiots are celebrating Lebron not getting a NBA championship ring. What have any of you clowns ever done? And it is shameful those in Ohio that blast Lebron for leaving the Cavs for the Heat. The guy has millions maybe he wanted to live somewhere else besides a freezehole 10 months out of the year. I know several residents of Ohio that have homes in Fl for the same reason but yet Lebron is not allowed to leave that G forsaken s hole of a city. (cleveland) If I were Lebron, I would sue half the sports talk host as well as the Cavs owner for defamation of character. What a bunch of gutless wonders.

Joycee Banicheck

June 15th, 2011
9:07 am

Lebron James sucks, and the fact that a certain Mavs player exited the plane back in Dallas after the championships wearing a t-shirt that said “Lebron, how does my Dirk taste?” just makes my day.

VOLinATL

June 15th, 2011
9:28 am

I wonder how short Luongo’s leash will be tonight? If he give up an easy one early, I’ll bet he is gone…