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What can Captain Luongo do for you?

With Roberto Luongo back, fans are wondering whether or not the Canucks’ captain can cure what ails a struggling hockey club.

With Roberto Luongo back, fans are wondering whether or not the Canucks’ captain can cure what ails a struggling hockey club.

It depends on your criteria. If you define it by wins and losses, then the answer is yes.

Vancouver boasted a 14-6-2 record prior to Luongo’s groin injury in late November, and there are at least five games (probably seven) since that time in which a typical Luongo goaltending performance would have resulted in a Canucks’ win.

Though many are uneasy to predict a reversal of fortune in the near future based on Luongo’s history of being a slow starter, there is one major difference. It is impossible to recreate the sense of urgency in October that exists in the second half of the season.

Luongo has proven time after time that he thrives under pressure so long as he is devoid of concern in his personal life. Since that is the case, the Canucks will begin to win hockey games again with their best player back in the lineup.

However, it remains to be seen if Luongo’s presence alone will instil a collective confidence in the team in front of him.

Vancouver has looked uninspired and unsure of itself of late, traits that were rarely exhibited when their number one netminder was healthy. If the errant passes and defensive lapses suddenly disappear and are replaced by a more physical, persistent effort on a nightly basis, it will become very clear why there is a “C” painted on the bottom of Luongo’s mask.

• Much to their chagrin, the Lions offence may look a lot different next season as opposed to a little.

Explosive tailback Stefan Logan has been working out for NFL clubs while twin towers Rob Murphy and Jason Jimenez are set to become free agents.

Logan’s 7.3 yard average was tops among starting CFL running backs last season and he nearly averaged a first down every time he caught the ball in 2008 as well. Murphy has already declared that he will explore free agency in order to determine whether or not a better situation exists out east, as he and his family reside in northern Florida.

Jimenez will also shop his services, and the potential loss of both blockers is troubling for Wally Buono. Backup Walter Stith could step into to one of those spots based on the way he played in Murphy’s absence last season, but filling the other position could be challenging given the complexity of Dan Dorazio’s blocking scheme.

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