For the Vancouver Canucks the Show Must Go On
After last nights PR with the canucks captain Roberto Luongo it became apparent that he is in fact injured and is going to be out for a few weeks. So what does this mean for Vancouver fans? After last nights game which resulted in an overtime win for the Canucks, maybe they will be alright. In fact, this will be a true test to the teams ability to perform and perhaps prove to the fans and the league that they are more than just a one man team.
Injuries are a part of playing in the NHL, and teams all around the league have to deal with the reality of losing key players for long stretches of the season. It’s a tough blow to a team when they lose a key player, an even tougher one when you lose your captain, but even more so when your captain happens to be your best player, and your goaltender.
That’s the reality facing the Vancouver Canucks with the groin injury to their heart-and-soul goaltender and captain, Roberto Luongo.
While teams no longer have to disclose exactly what kind of injury a player has sustained, Luongo’s groin injury was definitely no tweak, and will keep him out anywhere from three to six weeks.
For a few years now the Canucks have relied on one of the NHL’s best goaltenders to keep them competitive and many a night, steal them a game. For the next month, they will have to go it alone. So far, they are passing this early-season test with flying colours.
Ask any coach about an injury to a key player and they will all tell you that they can’t focus on who is not in the lineup, but rather focus on who is. Sounds logical, but not always that easy to execute.
For Alain Vigneault the thought of losing Luongo for an extended period of time is something that I’m sure he’s had nightmares about, but now that it has actually happened, it’s now something he can use to motivate his team. Since arriving on the coast, Luongo has been thought of as the reason that the Canucks are a competitive team. They have been as close to a one-man show as any team in the league. Now, Vigneault can use the “no respect” and “they don’t think we are good enough without him” angles to spur on his team. And so far, it seems to be working.
Whenever a top player goes down, it opens the door for others around him to do more. Now the defence has to be a little sharper, the forwards have to backcheck a bit harder and as a group they need to be stronger defensively to help protect Curtis Sanford and Cory Schneider in goal.