Luongo’s Problems

It’s been well-documented that Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo struggles a bit with confidence issues. Last night was no exception, as the Vezina Trophy finalist gave up three goals in his team’s Stanley Cup Final Game 7 loss.

But I find it difficult to fault Luongo for the loss when his teammates failed to tally even a single goal. As FF writer Jonathan Norman would say, “Let’s face it…you can’t win if you don’t score a goal.”

Vancouver’s Injuries

As I read through the newspapers and blog postings this morning, a common theme emerged out of Vancouver: injuries hindered the Canucks in their quest for the Cup. Alex Edler had broken fingers, Christian Ehrhoff had shoulder issues, and Chris Higgins’ foot was bothersome.

Fact is, though, the Bruins also played through injuries – just like every other team to ever reach the Stanley Cup Finals. Every team battles injuries, which is precisely what makes winning the Stanley Cup so special, so rewarding, and so difficult.

Ryan Kesler, widely considered to be dealing with some of relatively severe injury, refused to discuss his ailment(s) following last night’s loss. He gets it.

Riots

Vancouver residents, on the other hand, don’t. Reports out of the city have illustrated significant rioting, which has resulted in property damage, personal injuries, and civilian arrests. There is even one report – and apparently visual evidence – of a couple having sex on the street.

One of these things isn’t like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you guess which one?

But seriously, what’s with these people? When the Penguins lost the Stanley Cup in 2008, I went to bed. I didn’t burn down my neighbor’s house while the couple down the street got it on.

Way to represent your city and team, Vanouverans, Vancouverites, or whatever you call yourselves.

Recchi/Ference

Mark Recchi may have left the Pittsburgh Penguins under somewhat precarious terms a few years back, but the man spent several years wearing the Black and Gold of the ‘Burgh and even won a Cup here. It was nice to see him hoist the Cup one last time.

And one last time it was. Various media outlets are reporting that the veteran right winger, as widely speculated throughout the playoffs, has officially retired, leaving the game at age 43.

Good luck in your retirement, Recchin’ Ball – I’m sure you’ll be back involved with the sport in some capacity before long.

Also, a stick tap to former Penguin Andy Ference, who hoisted the Cup for the first time in his career last night. While relatively unknown across the NHL, Ference has been a staple on the Bruins’ blueline for years, and his hard work finally is being rewarded.

In Summation

What a fun Finals to watch. We had some low-scoring, close games and we had some high-scoring blowouts. Overall, I found the series to have a little bit of everything, which should have kept the casual fans and die-hards alike interested.

As the series commenced two weeks ago, I found myself solidly in the Canucks’ corner, wanting to see a celebration from a team that has never won the Stanley Cup. But as the series progressed and biting ensued, my allegiance shifted to the Broons, as Penguin analyst Bob Errey calls them.

And, while I never found myself liking Tim Thomas in the past, it was difficult to hat him as he turned in one of the most impressive performances in Stanley Cup history. After being awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP last night, he’ll easily take home the Vezina Trophy during next week’s NHL Awards. Like him or not, Thomas is the best active goaltender in the NHL, and his resume is beginning to put him into the discussions with some of the all-time greats.