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03-18-2004, 12:46 PM
  #26
Mizral
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Roberto Luongo is the best young goaltender in the league, and I have no doubt in my mind that when he's close to 30, he'll win a Vezina eventually and maybe even lead a team to the Stanley Cup.

Now, with all that said, if Luongo wins the Vezina trophy this year, I will have officially given up on the Vezina just like I've given up on the Jack Adams.

Roberto Luongo has had some great games. However, I've said it a few times and I'll say it again... making 40 saves a night is a little different from making 20, especially if you get the win with 20. Goaltenders around this league will tell you they like to see a lot of shots. Often times, teams go into lesser teams (like Florida) and just try to shoot the lights out, whereas if they go into Detroit they'll pick their spots better. I think Roberto actually benefits in the save % stat by playing on Florida, rather than being a loser in this regard. I think if you put Luongo on the Jersey Devils, he'd have a much, much loser save %. That said, he's still a very good goaltender, to that there is no doubt.

However, someone brought up Dwayne Roloson whom I so wish people would recognize more. Yes, Dwayne Roloson is, right now, a better goaltender than Luongo (though I will admit it's close). Roloson perhaps if the most underrated player in the league, in fact. By the numbers, Roloson looks better than Luongo - even his save % is the same. Now, consider that coupled with the fact that Roloson sees LESS shots per game than Luongo. Imagine how few goals he's giving up?

You might say that the Wild play a better defensive system. They do, but they are hardly the Devils either, this year they do not look nearly as good as the year before, and are letting a decent number of scoring chances out per game. Some nights they are downright dreadful. But Roloson keeps them in it.

Too many games I've seen my Canucks against the Wild, outchance them 5 times to 1 per game, yet the Wild come away with a point or two. Why? Dwayne Roloson is just sick sometimes. He goes into this zone where he channels Patrick Roy or something, and he just CANNOT be beat. Some mental block or whatever, and by the 1st period, you know your team is in tough to beat this guy.

He doesn't get the credit Luongo does because he doesn't see 50-save nights. But I wish people recognized what he does. For my money, Roloson is a top 5-7 keeper in the NHL - and some may consider that a little too much praise, but I ask you: Just watch this guy.

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