Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stat Line of the Day: April 27th

R. Luongo (VAN): 32 SA, 31 SV, 65 minutes, W
Last year, the Philadelphia Flyers became the first NHL team (and the second major American sports team overall) to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. This year, the  Chicago Blackhawks--the same team who beat  the Flyers in the  Stanley Cup
Luongo (L) had a monster Game 7 against Chicago
last season--were down 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks in just the first round of the playoffs. Granted, these weren't the same Blackhawks who won that Cup, having a different goalie and trading away a good part of their skating crew, but they battled back just the same--abusing Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo in the process. Between Game Five's 7-2 loss and Game Six's 5-0 loss, Luongo faced 40 shots in 65 minutes--and only stopped 30 of them, for an atrocious save percentage of 0.75. That was coming from a goalie who won 38 games this season while stopping nearly 93% of the shots he faced, and the Canucks needed a stellar performance from Luongo in the deciding Game Seven. In the same amount of ice time that he played in Games 5+6 combined, Luongo faced 32 shots--and saved 31 of them, including a huge stop of Duncan Keith in overtime. As with many NHL teams, the success of the team lies on the pads of their goalie--and nobody was bigger in goal last night than Roberto Luongo. If he keeps playing like that, the Canucks are a legit Stanley Cup contender--and if he plays like he did in the middle of the series, they won't advance past the next round.

Honorable Mention

A. Lind (TOR): 3-for-5, 3 HR, 5 RBI @ TEX
Toronto beat the Rangers on the road last night 10-3, thanks in part to the bat of first baseman Adam Lind. Lind had a monster night, and what's more impressive, he did so in five at-bats while seeing 13 pitches, so he was swinging early and swinging well. In addition, the homers came in consecutive at-bats in the third and fourth innings, the latter a three-run blast off Texas reliever Brett Tomko. Rangers starter Matt Harrison did struggle, giving up eight hits and seven runs in just three innings, but the more impressive line from this game came out of the Toronto infield.

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