Friday, September 17, 2010

Great, Expectations.

Because I am now a 21st Century Digital boy, I’ve been able to revisit some of my favorite FJM posts. And well, though this may surprise you, they’ve always been somewhat of a peripheral influence on our microscopic corner of the internet. So let’s hear what someone has to say.

This week one of the most hotly debated subjects surrounding the Canucks reached its course,

Whether to give Peter Schaefer a tryout? Where Kevin Bieksa will play next year? How the poor aren’t hungry now that Kyle Wellwood has skipped town? If 00 is a valid jersey number?

as it was announced Monday that Luongo had relinquished the C.


Was the decision to award the Vancouver net minder the job of Captain the correct thing to do in the first place?

Meh, probably not. But really does it matter? As a goalie you’re already a face of the franchise, and we all know he let it all hang out to the media prior to his captaincy. Plus, “leadership” is so incredibly overrated. How many wins do you think that actually accounts for? Half? 5? 40? Seriously. Players on the team know who the
leaders are whether you’ve got extra letters on your jersey, your helmet or whatever else.

The last time a goalie was named Captain was in the nineteen forty’s [sic]. Since then the league has made rule changes that mean goalies can’t officially fulfill the role. Something that initially would have been an honor and given him a certain status ultimately came back to haunt Luongo.

Goalies aren’t allowed to be on-ice captains because they kinda sorta have to stay near the net (Cechmaneks notwithstanding). Captains are the ones designated to speak with the referees (right Burkie? -54 second mark-) so having Luongo either skate to centre ice or having a referee skate to the net to discuss things is a waste of time and stupid and I smell.

And since it has been since the “forty’s” for a goalie to be named thusly, how is that not an honor anymore? I’m sure this’ll be made clear in a moment, so hang on.

The world of professional sports is often a highly pressured environment where athletes are scrutinized and an individuals every move can regularly be put under the microscope.

And just to pull an example out of the blue, the antiquated ideas about leadership from bloggers?

Due the nature of sport, players and teams sometimes have to face criticism from fans, media and management and this requires a large degree of fortitude. Like Quarterbacks and Pitchers, Goalkeepers are often relied upon to steal that all important win or pull the team back from the brink of loss.

Hear that Scott Norwood? It was Jim Kelly’s fault!

The expectations are much greater, so is the pressure placed on those positions; with the added responsibility of team Captain the pressure would have been huge.

Would it? How much huger? Sure, being an athlete is stressful. And again, players and media know who the leaders are. Luongo was a leader far before any meaningless designations, as he will continue to be, despite his relinquishing of the stupid letter.

Also, stop capitalizing the word “Captain”. We aren’t aboard the SS Proper Nouns, here.

Luongo has long been considered one of the premier goalies in the league so at times when he has struggled people have wondered if being the Captain was more of a hindrance or burden to him.

In 2008-09, the first year he was captain, Luongo turned in the best season of his career. 2.34 GAA, .920 SV%, and 9 shutouts. He got hurt in the middle of it (groin I think) and anyone who has watched him can note he hasn’t been the same since. I’m not saying injuries are the only reason here, but it makes a lot more sense than the unbearable pressure from an appointment he more or less had already.

Wearing the C isn’t just about being the best leader on a team or the most vocal player in the locker room. The role also dictates that the Captain has to be held accountable for the clubs actions. Facing the media scrum after a big loss could be a daunting task especially in a microcosm like Vancouver.

Anyone who is a star player on a team is going to be “held accountable for the clubs actions.” It has more to do with talent level than it does team-appointed leadership roles. Why didn’t the ’09 Capitals get past Pittsburgh? ANSWER ME CHRIS CLARK IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

In a months time the Vancouver Canucks will likely have a new Captain and a goaltender that has been freed from what could have been the shackles of Captaincy.

So now we usher in the thought of this being hypothetical and a waste of time. Great.

It’s believed that Luongo’s workload will be reduced, as this has also been an area of concern. The 2010/11 season is fast approaching and the stakes are high for a Vancouver team that has not progressed past the second round of the play offs in the previous two seasons.

Why is that always such a big deal? Ohhhh…the 2nd round curse! Only good teams with true leaders and great coaches and Hall of Fame goaltenders get past the vaunted 2nd round! In the previous two seasons (since that was the time period you chose) 8 teams have made the 3rd round. Making the conference finals is kind of a big deal. And let’s be honest, the West is π times more competitive than the east. 22 teams (out of 15) in the East haven’t made the playoffs since the Cold War ended.

The Canucks star keeper can’t afford to have a poor season this time around, but without the C he may actually have an even heavier weight on his shoulders because now there is less reason for failure and the Captaincy cannot be used as an excuse any more.

So they should let him keep it? What are you arguing for? Do you even know at this point?

You Can Follow Me On Twitter:

I’m starting to think that Vancouverites are an archaic, outmoded folk who think that Lucky Charms are made out of real magic and Zeus was real. I’ve never actually been there though, so maybe I’m way off.

1 comment:

  1. What's FJM? Does that stand for Fire Joe Morgan? Why would you want to do that? He's just a normal guy who likes to bowl, leave him alone.

    Also, this guy need's to learn how apostrophe's work. He should really try to master that, its hard to take him seriously.