luongo ben nelms of reuters

How to Beat the Goalie: Luongo

(Photo Courtesy: Ben Nelms/Reuters)

For the last couple of seasons, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has been put under the microscope because of his lack of play during playoff time. Trade talks have swirled around him over the past fourteen months about whether or not he will be wanted by an NHL club for the price General Manager Mike Gillis wants in return. Luongo has stated he wants out of the Western Canadian city, but he has been unable to flee and become the starter elsewhere.

"My contract sucks," said Bobby Lu.

Roberto Luongo has been the most highly talked about goaltender currently in the NHL. Every minor mistake Luongo makes is criticized. Most of the scrutiny comes from the lack of postseason success Luongo and the Canucks have had. Winning the Presidents Trophy and not going to the Stanley Cup Finals afterwards have been the Achilles' heel for the club.

Being the "backup" behind Cory Schneider this season, Luongo has seemed to settle down and slowly get back to his game by having fun. 

With all the scrutiny coming down on him, Luongo has seemed to poke fun of it himself through social media. His anonymous Twitter account, @Strombone1, has finally been confirmed by Luongo that it is in fact himself. In creating this parody account, Luongo has seemed to loosen up a bit and become an NHL fan's favorite player.

Many experts have questioned Luongo's ability to perform in big time games. He proved he could by winning a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics held in Vancouver, but that wasn't enough for the critics. Luongo has yet to perform spectacular in the playoffs and until he raises the Stanley Cup, no one will give him full credit for what he's done.

During the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks, I was lucky to study Luongo with Nashville Predators goaltending coach Mitch Korn. Korn isn't a big fan of his play because he is slow and is not very active. Luongo also has a tendency to fall on his rear end and give up on the play. 

Once a player gets him to go down, a quick pass backdoor will be sure goal every time against Luongo because he doesn't have the mobility to get across quick enough.

Don't count on Luongo giving up many rebounds. The Montreal native has learned that he isn't going to be great mobile, he will have to limit the amount of rebounds.

Here is how to beat Roberto Luongo.

  • Get him moving: Again, once Luongo goes down to his knees, a player should look for a player cutting towards the net and pass to him to get the backdoor goal. Also watch for him to fall on his rear end. Once that happens, it is all in the hands of the player to score.

  • High Shoulder: High shoulder side is a weakness to Luongo. He can't get his shoulders and glove high enough to deflect it away.

Roberto Luongo's career stats vs Nashville

Name W L OT SO SV% GAA
#1 Roberto Luongo 12 12 3 2 .922 2.26

Roberto Luongo's 2012-13 stats

Name W L OT SO SV% GAA
#1 Roberto Luongo 8 4 3 2 .911 2.36

 

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