Two players off to nasty starts

Luongo pulled as Canucks fall to Oilers

Gaborik being benched

Luongo pulled as Canucks fall to Oilers

Maybe the Vancouver Canucks should make another trade. We’re not suggesting Roberto Luongo for Vincent Lecavalier or anything stupid like that, but something. Anything. If for no other reason than to take some of the heat off their embattled goaltender.

After a few days basking in relative anonymity, thanks in large part to the acquisition of David Booth from the Florida Panthers this past weekend, the Canucks’ $63-million goalie will undoubtedly be back in the public spotlight — if not the editorial pages of the city’s tabloid newspaper — after giving up three goals in a span of 4:02 early in the second period of Vancouver’s 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Tuesday.

Luongo can’t seem to win for losing. Literally and figuratively. He was hardly the worst player on the ice against the Oilers, but he’s been an easy target, especially after his performance in last June’s Stanley Cup Final and disappointing outings in four of the six games he’s started this season.

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Gaborik being benched

No, the “guys” Tortorella hopes will do something are Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, and the Rangers coach knows the play of his top forwards has everything to do with his team’s ability to sustain success through 82 games.

Monday, while Richards’ drew the tripping penalty that led to his team’s first goal, the big-money center was completely neutralized offensively. Gaborik glided around the ice but was ineffective, leading Tortorella to play him just 3:03 in the third period.

Richards’ poor performance and Gaborik’s benching are linked. Their line’s blueprint for scoring goals combines Richards’ precision passing with Gaborik’s speed, and if the center is struggling to find a rhythm, Gaborik inevitably will, too.

At best on the seven-game road trip, Gaborik was flying down the ice without the puck, finding creases and giving Richards a target. Through seven games, Gaborik has a team-high four goals, and Richards has an assist on every one.

But the morning after a 2-0 loss to the Oilers, Gaborik slammed his stick into the glass after failing to score on Lundqvist in practice. The frustration was building.

The major problem is the Rangers never have the puck, and when they dump it into the offensive zone, they have no energy left to do anything but change lines.

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7 Responses to Two players off to nasty starts

  1. hockey_lover says:

    It isnt surprising that Luongo is struggling. He does that. He’ll turn it around and turn it into a good season.

    As a Pens fan, I couldnt be happier that the Rangers are struggling 🙂

  2. dumbassdoorman says:

    I have always thought Bobby Lou was overrated, but thats just my opinion. As a Leafs fanit scares me that the Rangers aren't playing well. They seem to have problems beating teams like this most of the time. I hope they pull out a win tomorrow so that a good start to the season continues.

  3. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Their are 29 teams in this league…And then theres Washington.

    Always been my third favorite team, due to Ovechkin, their fans, jerseys' and their goal horn.

    Also, how great was the addition of Troy Brouwer? Love George Mcphee.

    Also, they have Evgeni Kuznetsov and Dmitri Orlov, two key players to Russia's 2011 WJC win in the wings.

    And they have their first rounder, Colorado's 1st rounder, and potentially their second rounder.

    Must be nice to be from Washington.

  4. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ya the future is bright there for sure. Two good young goalie prospects as well. So who is the 2nd favorite team?

  5. mojo19 says:

    Emergence of Johansson, additions of Brouwer and Ward. Wideman and Green playing great. Halpern and Hamrilik were also solid pick ups to fill out the rest of the roster, and of course Vokoun was the by far the biggest factor.

  6. dumbassdoorman says:

    All true, I think if Vokoun plays well it will be tough to kepp him there. Someone will decide to pay him more. I think they should try and trade Semin, so they might be able to get him under contract before July 1

  7. mojo19 says:

    I would hold onto Semin for the playoff run, then make a decision on which guy to keep. Let one of them walk as a UFA.

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