I would even argue against those 3.The_Pauser wrote:It's really disgusting how criminally underrated Luongo has become. He is easily a top 5 goaltender. Right now I would have Lundqvist (although barely), Quick, and Tim Thomas ahead of him. Pekka Rinne might have a slight edge, although he hasn't shown anything that suggests he should be put ahead of Luongo conclusively. Either way though, Luongo is still in the top 5.RoyalDude wrote: Mondi must have missed the shooting gallery playoff series between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh last year which might have been the motivating factor as to why Shero brought in Vokoun this off-season. I'm surprised Mondi didn't add the other culprit to that list - Bryzgalov.
Thomas has been good, but when he hasn't had the all-world defense of the Boston "Clutch and Grab" Bruins in front of him he has been fairly average. I don't see him giving Luongo's Panthers of old a chance at anything. All the same, he is a competitor and at least Louie's equal.
Lundqvist is coming off an incredible year, but he has done far less in the playoffs than Bobby Lou. Regular season numbers are fairly comparable, Lundqvist has a slight edge, but last year's performance really gave him a nice boost on the career totals. He certainly has never carried a middle of the pack team into the playoffs and then proceeded to win a goaltending duel to get into the next round. Again, he's Louie's equal but needs to repeat this past season's performance.
Rinne has had one amazing year. Last year he was good, but his numbers dropped off. He is also back-stopping one of the most defensively focussed teams in the NHL. It will be interesting to see what his numbers do now that he has lost one of his top 2 defensemen.
Jonathan Quick is coming off an incredible year. But I'm going to say it, he didn't deserve that Conn Smythe. He was not the reason that LA won the Cup. The team steam rolled their opponents. Against us in the opening round he was quite beatable, it wasn't until game 5 that he finally put it together and actually won LA the game. Before that it was the team in front of him taking away Vancouver's chances, clearing loose pucks, blocking shots, eliminating second shot opportunities, and playing the clutch-and-grab-dead-puck-era-hockey that saw goaltender's numbers skyrocket and netminders like Dominik "flop around" Hasek post unbelievable stats by simply laying down and taking away the bottom of the net. Second round was more of the same, St. Louis threw alot of perimeter shots at the net. Easy work for the goalie. In the last 2 games they only got 21 and 18 shots on net. Phoenix, more of the same. The Finals? 17, 33, 22, 23, 19, 18. Those are the shot totals that Quick faced against New Jersey. Only in game 2 did he have to post any real numbers. Game 6 was a wash, thanks to officiating, from the half way point of the opening period. Quick had an easy Cup clinching game. He's a really good goaltender, but we've seen how rattled he can get in years past. I would like to see what would have happened if he had been our goaltender and Schneider or Louie had been theirs. We probably would have watched the Kings destroy the Canucks in 4 and the scores not even be close.
It's funny how quickly people dismiss some amazing seasons and games and compare a goalie to peers who have less experience and have seen the benefit of some amazing play by the players in front of them.
My problem with Luongo is that he is a slow starter and lets in soft goals at bad times. I still think he opened up the series against LA with a vengeance. He was incredible and the Canucks should have been completely out of both games in the first period, but Louie kept them in it with some amazing saves. Unfortunately a goalie is only going to bail his team out with unstoppable stops for so long. The fact that Vigneault went with Schneider tells me that it is perhaps the team that feels better with Cory in net.....and we have all seen the collective deflation that follows Luongo's gaffs. It is just time for a change.