VANCOUVER — In the hours leading up Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo tapped a reporter on the shoulder and asked, "You still believe in me, right?"
It's a question Vancouver fans will be asking all summer.
Luongo gave up three goals on 13 shots through two periods, finishing with 16 saves in a 4-0 loss Wednesday night to a Boston team that was supposed to struggle to score.
Not that Luongo was alone in struggling for Vancouver. Captain Henrik Sedin had one point in the Cup final, twin brother Daniel had four, and the winners of the past two scoring titles were on the ice for all four Boston goals in Game 7.
That Zdeno Chara, Boston's 6-foot-9 defensive star and captain, shut down the Sedins is not a huge surprise, but even with the extra attacker, the Sedins came up short.
"We battled real hard. We gave it our best shot," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "This one game, they were the better team. It's that simple."
The Vancouver power play, tops in the league and a huge part of the NHL's best offense in the regular season, was 2-for-32 in the Cup final and surrendered the backbreaking goal in Game 7, a short-handed breakaway by Patrice Bergeron late in the second period. The power play finished the final a minus, with two goals scored and three short-handed goals against.
Bergeron's goal was a microcosm of Luongo's series.
With a penalty coming after defenseman Christian Ehrhoff hauled down Bergeron as both headed toward the net, Luongo seemed to give up on the play as the puck trickled toward him, and he was left with his arms in the air wondering what had happened after he got knocked aside by the sliding players and the puck got knocked in by Bergeron.
After the loss, parked cars were set on fire, others were tipped over and people threw beer bottles at giant TVscreens.
People chanted obscenities, and some leaped over bonfires as riot police moved in to try to restore order in the downtown streets strewn with garbage and filled with acrid smoke.