In a previous post I explained how the playoffs change the dynamic of a hockey game and how pure skill is not going to determine a winner. However, based on Vancouver’s performance against Nashville in Game 6, it seems as if the Vancouver Canucks might have overcome the psychological taxation that the playoffs bring. They have now returned as one of the favourites to win the cup!
The team had a lot to say about what they are expecting in the next round. Luongo seems to have regained his confidence back after he took a beating in games 4 and 5 against Chicago. Against either Detroit or San Jose, Vancouver will need to have near-perfect goaltending.
Luongo is a stranger to adversity – he has always been one of the best goaltenders in the league. He also had no problem dispatching foe after foe in the olympics to win gold for Canada. So when he ran up against trouble playing Chicago, it seemed to shock him psychologically. The confidence-blow lasted for a number of games almost costing Vancouver their season. Fortunately Luongo was able to hang in to dispatch Chicago. During the Nashville series he continued to build his confidence back up and now he seems to be ready once again.
One thing is for sure, whether it is Detroit or San Jose that they must face in the next round, Luongo is going to have to be at his best to keep pucks out of the net. His performance has been hit or miss in the post-season but I believe he is once again up to the task.