Over the course of the past several days, I have heard several comment made on the radio and in general conversation that the Canucks got the lucky bounce, or the Stars got the lucky bounce etc. I myself have made the mistake, surely the Stars got a lucky bounce in Game 5 when the puck slid eerily close the their gapping net while Turco was on the bench and the Canucks had a delayed penalty call; and the Canucks got a lucky bounce as the puck came off the end boards right on to the stick of Mattias Ohlund for a relatively easy goal.
My argument against the notion that both teams have been subject to ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’ bounces stems back to the beginning of the series when questions were flying all over the place about Luongo’s lack of playoff experience and Turco’s past playoff blunders. If you really think about what you are saying when you speak of the bounces, you really must question how much you are discounting the absolutely incredible goaltending performances that we have seen.
Let’s begin with Luongo. In game one, this man (playing in his first ever playoff game) was unreal. The tying goal that set up the overtime was one that he, himself will admit, he should have had. Then in order to make up for it, he stands on his head while the Stars continue to pepper him with shots well into the first, second, third and fourth overtime periods. In the end Luongo faces 40 shots in regulation, allowing 4 goals and then faces another 36 shots in overtime and stops ever single one of them. There has been several occasions throughout the series where the Canucks have simply relied on Roberto, hands down this guy has carried the team all season long and will have to continue to do so if the Canucks have any hope.
As for Marty Turco. I swear this man could quarter back the power-play (maybe he should considering that neither team has a very ‘potent’ power-play) and he has silenced the critics in this series. Regardless win or lose this series should erase the ghosts that have haunted him in previous post season. Both Dallas wins have been accompanied by Turco shutouts, the one scar on his performance may be the stumble on the game-tying goal by Mattias Ohlund in game four.
Compare the numbers, more interestingly …check the rankings…
GP MIN (rnk) G.A.(rnk) S.A.(rnk) SV(rnk) G.A.A.(rnk) SPCT(rnk)
Robert Luongo 5 games played; 389:28 mins played (rank 2); 9 goals against (rank 9) 190 shots against(1 rank); 181 saves (rank 1); 1.39 goals against average(rank 3); .953 save percentage(rank 2)
Marty Turco games played 5; 389:42 mins played (rank 1); 9 goals against (rank 9);178 shots against (rank 2); 169 saves (rank 2); 1.38 goals against average (rank 2); .949 save percentage (rank3)
So in conclusion I have to point out the this series may not come down to bounces, because neither one of these goaltenders is going to be beaten on bounces…but more so maybe it comes down to one team running out of time to catch the other. Remember there has been 6 periods of sudden-death overtime played as well. Maybe my point is not so valid, maybe I am just blabbering out loud, but should brilliant goaltending really be discredited to a ‘lucky bounce’?