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Bobby Can't Luuuuse

It seems like everywhere I go in Vancouver I keep hearing the same thing. In bars, living rooms, Future Shops and McDonald’s, I can always hear the same monotonous bellow of “LUUUUUUU.” Vancouver Canuck fans have been chanting goaltender Roberto Luongo’s name since he was traded along with Lucas Krajicek for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld in a move that surely constitutes grand larceny. Since the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the chanting has only gotten louder, as Martin Brodeur’s less-than-stellar play has given Luongo the chance to take the reins of the team and, as Canadians expect, lead them to gold.

The move to replace Brodeur with Luongo has shades of Canada’s 2002 gold-medal triumph in Salt-Lake City, in which goaltender Curtis Joseph started against Team Sweden and was replaced by Brodeur after a 5-2 loss, paving the way for Brodeur to become the first Canadian goaltender to win gold in 50 years. The positions could be reversed this time for Brodeur, as he’s giving way to Luongo for the Quarterfinals, in which it’s do-or-die time. This means that it will likely be Luongo in goal for the rest of the tournament.

Many Canadians will consider a loss in men’s hockey to mean a failed Olympic Games on home soil, and that humongous expectation now rests on the shoulders of a man who has never come close to winning a Stanley Cup or any other major award, for that matter. The decision to bench the experienced Brodeur was an extremely difficult one for Team Canada coach Mike Babcock and his assistants, but it’s one that had to be made. It’s time to give Luongo a chance to dispel the notion that he can’t perform in big games, a reputation brought on by his failure in Game 6 of the Semi Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s LUUUU or die time.

- Nathan Caddell