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Roberto Luongo's confidence returning?

Apr 16, 2010, 9:20 AM EDT

luongo.jpgIf the Vancouver Canucks have aspirations of going any deeper in the
playoffs than the second round, they’ll need Roberto Luongo to be just a
bit more consistent. He has the ability to be an elite goaltender, and
is routinely considered one of the top netminders in the NHL. Yet there
are times when he falls apart mentally, forgets his mechanics and
positioning and is wholly beatable.

Last night, as
Jason Botchford of The Province writes,
Luongo finally looked a bit
like the goaltender the Canucks will need him to be. After his big save
in overtime, it seems that Luongo may be feeling it as well.

“Quick had just made one on the 2-on-1 with Henk,” Luongo said.
“After I made the first save on Smitty, the puck jumped and hit their
guy in the leg. As it was coming back, I knew I got a piece of it. But I
felt I didn’t get the whole thing.

“I was able to swing back and
swipe it away. It was just a reaction. It just came naturally, to react
that way.

“The OT was the best I felt all game.”

Luongo came out of the Olympic break with a gold medal around his neck
and some messed up mechanics in net. He wasn’t confident, he wasn’t
making the big save and he was entirely mediocre. In fact, he wasn’ very
good at all.

Despite a 9-5-1 record after the Olympics, Luongo was yanked twice
after allowing an atrocious amount of bad goals and in those 15 games
had a very, very poor save percentage of .871.

Watching the game last night, he looked just as uncomfortable in the
the first two periods and truly didn’t start to settle down until
overtime started.

Will that confidence carry over for the rest of the playoffs? The
Canucks sure hope so.

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