It usually doesn’t take this long for the parade committee to convene but, after the weekend, it seems there’s a move to have the route go down Robson this year. With that, here are the always celebratory musings and meditations on the world of sports.
Goalie Confidential is that rarest of stories that keeps giving to the media. It changes size and shape on a daily basis. You can come at it from any direction, form any argument, and you have a chance to be right. Or not wrong. Or partially believable.
In short, it can be virtually anything you want it to be, which is why every scribe has fallen in love with this story.
Today’s take: After all the angst invested in a potential Roberto Luongo trade, are the Canucks better off keeping their goaltending tandem in place this season?
That seemed unthinkable at the start of the campaign, but after 11 games, it’s clear the strength of the team is its goaltending. Before Monday night’s games, Luongo sat second in the league in goals-against average and save percentage. Throw out Cory Schneider’s first start of the year, when he surrendered five goals on 19 shots to the Ducks, and his numbers are comparable. The pair allowed the Canucks to survive an indifferent start relatively unscathed and they now give the team a huge competitive advantage.
The question, therefore, becomes would the Canucks be better off without Luongo but with, say, a top-six forward in his place? Long-term, absolutely. Short-term, well, it depends on the forward. But it’s hard to believe anyone coming back in a trade would be as valuable as Luongo has been to this team.
Both goalies, it seems, can make the job-share work over a shortened season. Something would have to be done in the offseason but, in the here and now, keeping both would be best for the team.
Uh, we reserve the right to change that opinion next week.
Like a lot of observers, your agent thought the rest of the Northwest Division was catching up to the Canucks this season. Looks like we nailed another one. Before Monday night’s game, Edmonton, Minnesota, Calgary and Colorado were a combined two games under .500 which, in the world of the three-point game, is a lot worse than it sounds. Hard to believe the Wild and Avalanche will be as bad as they’ve looked all season, but both teams are a mess behind the bench.
The Flames, for their part, are just a mess.
Hands up if you had David Clarkson challenging for the NHL lead in goals after the first four weeks of the season. The Devils defy logic. They lost their best all-around player in Zach Parise, Marty Brodeur is another year older, and they’ve come back better than they were last season, when they made the Stanley Cup finals.
SEEING THE SITES
Every football fan should be able to attend a Super Bowl in New Orleans. Every golfer should be able to play in the pro-am at Pebble Beach.
The Washington Capitals aren’t keen on taking Luongo’s contract — who is? — but Caps GM George McPhee did say he’d been discussing trade options with ownership last week. The Caps have blueline depth and a collection of good young forwards in their system.
“I provided some options and (ownership) provided some real fair direction, which was great,” McPhee said. “So, that being said, if there was something I can do to help the club out, I will. But I’m not going to do anything stupid.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Wonder if they serve finger sandwiches at Mikhail Grabovski’s house?
This is always the story you’re never prepared for: Pitchers and catchers began reporting to major-league baseball teams on Monday.
RAPTORS ON RISE?
And, finally, it’s been so long since the Raptors were relevant it might be an over-reaction to say Rudy Gay has changed the franchise. But the Raptors have had a different look and feel since they acquired the 26-year-old swing man from Memphis two weeks ago.
OK, their record in the five games with Gay is just 3-2, but that win on Friday, when they went toe-to-toe with a good Indiana team in Indianapolis before winning in overtime, might be a game-changer for the franchise.
The chemical equation on a basketball team is unlike any other sport and one player really can make that kind of a difference. Don’t know if Gay can be that guy, but you want to watch to find out if he is, and it’s been a while since you could say that about the Raptors.
© Copyright (c) The Province