I Hart Luongo

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With all necessary caveats in order, I want to take this opportunity (basking in the glow of yet another unbeatable performance) to declare Roberto Luongo as my front-runner for both the Hart Trophy and the Vezina Trophy this season.

Let’s break down the case:

  • Luongo is third in Goals Against Average (1.97) and first if you count only goalies who have played more than 30 games so far;
  • Luongo is third in Save Percentage (.930) and, again, first if you count only goalies who have played more than 30 games so far;
  • Luongo is second in shutouts (6);
  • and, setting aside statistics for a moment, Luongo is the leader of the Canucks. He is one of the first players interviewed by reporters every night, takes losses harder than anyone, and is not afraid to call out either himself or his teammates when necessary. If goalies could be captains, Luongo is probably the only one in the league who would be captain of his team.

In short, Luongo is not only the best goaltender in the league this season, he is also the best and most valuable player in the league, given his combined achievements in a wide variety of statistical categories, his contribution to team success, and his intangible qualities as the leader of his team.

As the link I offer at the outset of this post should indicate, I don’t think it is fair to suggest the Canucks are a ‘bad’ team without Luongo. Any way you slice it, they are not. (Most teams would kill to have players like the Sedin twins or any one/all of the Canucks defenceman, excepting perhaps ‘Ancient’ Aaron Miller.)

Instead, I think it is more accurate to identify the Canucks as one of the best teams in the league in large part due to Luongo.

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