By Josh Plummer
I first heard the news yesterday and it instantly lifted my morale.
All-star goaltender Roberto Luongo
is on the cover of the February 20th edition of The Hockey News along with the caption, "Nothing can stop me."
Luongo is supposedly talking about his vow to be playing NHL hockey well into April and beyond after toiling for six years with the Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders without a sniff of post season action.
In the article, Luongo is quoted as saying, "I will be in the playoffs this year. Nothing will stop me."
Roberto says he doesn't remember giving the quote and it may have been taken out of context - but let's assume for a second that he did say it.
I think it's perfect and exactly what the Canucks and their fans need going down the final stretch.
Vancouver have never had a star player who openly says to his teammates and fans, "Come on guys, jump on my back and I'll get us where we need to go!"
The Canucks are only 26 games away from a coveted playoff berth and if there's one player in the entire league who I would go all in with, it's the potential Hart trophy candidate, Luongo.
If he leads - I'll follow.
Luongo is clearly demonstrating his focus and determination to get this club back to where it belongs. He's not being cocky or arrogant or giving other clubs fodder to tack up onto their bulletin boards - he's grabbing his team by the scruff of the neck and being a leader.
The best players are supposed to do that.
He's being like New England Patriot's quarterback Tom Brady during a final drive with less than two minutes to play and the Pats down by three. Brady is always calm and under control - his teammates hang on his every word in the huddle.
He's being like Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan after a time-out and the Bulls down by one. The opposition always knew the in-bounds play was going to Jordan - but they still couldn't stop him.
He's being like Tiger Woods on a six-foot putt to clinch a one shot victory during the Masters. Tiger is always a lock to find the bottom of the cup and Nike has made TV commercials based on his ensuing fist pumps.
The bold statement by Luongo in THN should be a rally cry and starting point for much-needed inspiration for everyone who follows the Canucks - not a source of fear that it might not come true.
Authentix sold t-shirts during the campaign to vote Rory Fitzpatrick into the All-Star game, maybe it's time for someone to come up with the "Nothing can stop us" t-shirts to show our un-yielding support for Luongo and the Canucks when they need us most.
I'd buy one.