He only finished in the top half twice in his entire career. Luongo has been in the top half every single year of his career save for this shortened season where he didn't even meet the 35+ game threshold if you pro-rate it for a 48 game season.
McLean was an average at best starter who went on a hot streak during the '94 playoffs. Very over-rated.
Luongo's numbers have been consistent for over a decade and comparable to Brodeur's. Had he played on a team consistently of the caliber of the late 90's/early '00's Devils (good over multiple seasons, not just one), he would have his cup ring by now.
McLean's run in 1994 will always be seen as one of the great 'never say die' moments in the franchise, but it's quite obviously Luongo.
I still remember at Rogers Arena during training camp in 2011, at the team store a kid asked his dad who McLean was. His response? "The greatest Canucks goalie of all-time. Luongo can never be what McLean was." Poor kid.
It all depends on one's definition of greatness, which is a very subjective term.
If it were based on statistics/ regular seasons alone, it would be Luongo by a country mile. Greatness isn't defined by statistics alone, though, it is often defined by only a few games or even moments.
- Luongo wins best series for his performance vs Dallas
- McLean wins best game vs NYR in '94 (I can't remember which one, maybe #1 as noted above. The one where he made 50 saves or whatever. It being the Finals gives it greater weight. Plus you have to consider the higher scoring era and the normal sized equipment.)
- McLean wins best save for The Save. That's a career defining moment right there.
- McLean gets extra credit for being one of the last of the stand-up goaltenders. It's like being the last templar or knight of the round table.
- Luongo gets huge demerits for being the weakest link on a contenting team in each of 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Overall, McLean was a good goalie who had moments of greatness at the most important points in his career.
Luongo was a great goalie who had colossal collapses when it mattered the most. In the end it's those select moments that create one's legacy.
In some ways, Luongo is the embodiment of this franchise. So much potential, so many close calls, but when it counts most, abject and utter failure.
Last edited by Chubros: 06-25-2013 at 12:27 AM.