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Luongo, O’Brien losing touch with reality

Image (1) Luongo2-thumb-250x164-11115.jpg for post 1501

Instead of taking responsibility for his own play in net, Roberto Luongo is looking instead to change his luck. The playoff beard is gone, obviously the cause for his troubles in the second round against the Chicago Blackhawks. The goaltender says he’s “trying to change things up a bit” as the Canucks hope to stave off elimination in Game 5 against Chicago.

Shaving off the beard is all well and good, signifying a fresh start and all that, perhaps the complete disconnect between the players’ mindsets about their own play and the reality their coach is seeing that should truly be worrisome.

Shane O’Brien, once praised for keeping his cool and settling in defensively against the Kings, has now been at the forefront of his team losing their collective minds at the wrong time. With their season on the line, O’Brien makes perhaps the most boneheaded comment of them all:

“We are in a situation where probably nobody thinks we can come back; the odds are we probably can’t. We are going to give it our best go.”

Now, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt here. I don’t know what his tone was when he said it, and I certainly don’t know the exact context of the comment itself. But saying that the odds are that his team can’t come back isn’t exactly the best statement to make after his team decided to stop playing hockey and swing and punch like a bunch of spoiled kids who were pushed down on the playground for the first time. The Blackhawks have found out exactly what to do to beat Vancouver, and they’re exploiting that weakness all the way to a series win

While the rest of his team agrees that they just need to stay out of the penalty box, O’Brien decided that perhaps the officiating was to blame, saying that perhaps “that’s our fault for yelling at the refs during the season.”

His coach knows the reality of the situation however, and I’m sure that if the Canucks had a better defensive situation available O’Brien would find his value on this team diminish in a hurry. Alain Vigneault knows that his team was outplayed in the three losses, and that his team needs to learn to keep itself out of the box:

“All the penalties we took are penalties we deserved,” he said. “Officiating has got nothing to do with it.”

After the first round, the Canucks became my favorite to win the Stanley Cup. I felt that with the offense they possessed, all they needed was for Roberto Luongo to just manage to be good. Not great, just good. Instead, he’s looked like someone who’s more interested in yelling at the officials than stopping the puck and even then it’s a bit half-hearted. The rest of the team hasn’t shown much more of a heart themselves, and therein lies the reason that the Cancucks are facing a 3-1 series deficit and what’s likely to be eventual elimination.

If the captain has no heart, why would the rest of the team?