Roberto Luongo

It’s OK everyone, Luongo’s “gotten used to” being booed

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A quick follow-up on Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who we wrote about this afternoon on PHT. Vancouver’s starting goalie heard a few Bronx cheers last night at Rogers Arena in a 4-0 loss to the Rangers. He didn’t play especially poorly, but the jeers weren’t really about last night’s game. They were about…everything.

Clearly Luongo’s relationship with the fans is on shaky ground. If they were a married couple, they’d be taking separate vacations and telling the kids everything’s going to be fine.

Vancouver reporters were predictably all over the story today, and as a reward for their doggedness they got a great quote out of the man himself. When asked how it felt to be booed on home ice, Luongo replied, “The good thing is it has happened so many times, I’ve gotten used to it.”

Ladies and gentlemen, your Vancouver Canucks. Finished first overall in the regular season. Scored the most goals. Surrendered the fewest. Fell one game short of winning the Stanley Cup. Aaaaaand the starting goalie has grown used to being booed.

That’s not to say the fans are wrong to boo. Nor is it to endorse the booing. It’s more to say…this is a rather bizarre situation, don’t you think?

Some other quotes:

“[Luongo’s] probably harder on himself facing his teammates in the dressing room or the personal pressure he puts on himself to perform than what some minor group of fans might think.” —- Coach Alain Vigneault

“You always want to do good and you want to be liked. I think that’s how everyone is as a person. When you don’t do that, you get down on yourself. And he’s no different than anyone else.” —- Daniel Sedin

“It kind of sucks. For a guy who’s done more for this franchise perhaps than any other goalie in the history of the team, you would think he might get a bit of slack or some more leeway.” —- Cory Schneider

“I think people love pointing the finger in this town when things aren’t going well but it’s part of the business. Everyone’s going to get blamed for losses but unfortunately Louie takes more heat than anyone.” —- Kevin Bieksa

“You can never get used to it. Maybe, you become tolerant, a little bit. That’s all you can really do. He’s taken a lot of heat over the years and he’s had to learn to deal with it. He knows if he wants to play in this market he has to learn to deal with this. It’s part of the territory. He has a microscope on him. There are mistakes made all over the ice. Coaches can hide the easiest from those, then forwards, then the defensemen. For a goalie, there’s really no hiding.” —- Bieksa

Canada scores five unanswered in 5-1 rout of Team USA at Worlds

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Team Canada’s veteran lineup was too much for the young Americans to handle today in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the Canadians rolled to a convincing 5-1 victory as the preliminary round of the World Championship got underway.

The United States actually opened the scoring, on a first-period, power-play goal by Patrick Maroon. But Taylor Hall quickly tied it, and soon after that, Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadians the lead. Matt Duchene, Boone Jenner, and Brad Marchand added the insurance goals for Canada.

Keith Kinkaid was in goal for the Americans, Cam Talbot for the Canadians.

Auston Matthews logged 16:56 in ice time and registered three shots for Team USA, who play Belarus tomorrow.

The Canadians are off until Sunday, when they’ll take on Hungary.

Rangers’ Lindberg has hip surgery, will need six months to recover

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Oscar Lindberg #24 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second goal of the game at 5:12 of the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on October 10, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Rangers announced this morning that forward Oscar Lindberg has undergone a “successful simultaneous bilateral hip labral repair.”

That’s a long way of saying he had hip surgery.

The Rangers say the expected recovery time for Lindberg is six months, meaning the 24-year-old is likely to get a late start to next season.

In 2015-16, his first full season in the NHL, Lindberg had 13 goals and 15 assists in 68 games. However, he was a regular healthy scratch down the stretch.

“I thought Oscar was playing well,” head coach Alain Vigneault said in March. “But when Rick Nash came back, we had 13 healthy forwards. It’s just the way it slotted out.”

In the playoffs, Lindberg dressed for just two of the Rangers’ five contests (Games 4 and 5 versus Pittsburgh).

Related: Rangers sign Lindberg

Report: Wild talked to Crawford, Boucher about head coaching gig

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Of all the available coaching gigs, Minnesota’s seems to be the most muddled right now — there’s still no word on the status of interim bench boss John Torchetti, and GM Chuck Fletcher has reached out to both Randy Carlyle and Bruce Boudreau.

Now, the Star-Tribune is reporting Fletcher has also contacted another pair of veteran coaches: Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher.

Crawford, fresh off a four-year stint in the Swiss League — where he coached coveted draft prospect Auston Matthews in Zurich — is gunning for an NHL return, and would even accept an assistant coaching position to get his foot back in the door.

Related: Marc Crawford coaching in Detroit? Hey, could happen…

Boucher, also coming off a stint in the Swiss League, wants back in the NHL as well. He was in the running for a pair of gigs last offseason — Toronto, which ultimately went to Mike Babcock, and New Jersey, which ultimately went to John Hynes.

An interesting wrinkle with the Wild’s coaching search? Per the Star-Tribune, it sounds like coaches might be asking as many questions of Fletcher as Fletcher is of the coaches. The longtime GM has come under fire recently for the club’s current roster makeup, which forced owner Craig Leipold to give Fletcher a public vote of confidence during the playoffs.

Caggiula expected to sign shortly, Canucks could be front-runners

during the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.The North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 5-1 to win the national title. Getty
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College free agent Drake Caggiula is expected to pick a team shortly, possibly even today.

The University of North Dakota winger had originally shortlisted six teams, according to a report. Those teams were Philadelphia, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and Buffalo.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie said this morning on Edmonton radio that the Canucks are “maybe” the front-runners to land the 21-year-old. Vancouver signed Caggiula’s teammate, defenseman Troy Stecher, a couple of weeks ago, and Caggiula’s linemate, Brock Boeser, was drafted by the Canucks in the first round last year.

Recently, Boeser told Postmedia that he was trying to convince Caggiula to sign with Vancouver, where there will be plenty of opportunities for young forwards in the next couple of years.

If it’s not the Canucks, McKenzie said he’s heard the Oilers have a “puncher’s chance” of getting Caggiula.