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Graceful victor? Roberto Luongo says he would’ve stopped the shot that beat Tim Thomas

Jun 11, 2011, 1:03 AM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

It’s always something in these Stanley Cup finals.

Tonight, Roberto Luongo played brilliant in stopping all 31 shots he faced in Game 5 en route to a 1-0 Canucks victory over Boston and earning his fourth playoff shutout in the process.

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas too played great in stopping 24 out of 25 shots but Maxim Lapierre‘s game-winning goal in the third period eluded him when Kevin Bieksa purposefully shot one off the end boards to get it to Lapierre for the goal.

After the game, Luongo was asked about his play and what he thought of Lapierre’s goal. As should be expected out of these two teams, things are never let go without a little something extra added on top of it.

Q. Roberto, can you talk about from a goalie’s perspective how difficult it is to play a shot off the endboard?

ROBERTO LUONGO: It’s not hard if you’re playing in the paint. It’s an easy save for me, but if you’re wandering out and aggressive like he does, that’s going to happen. He might make some saves that I won’t, but in a case like that, we want to take advantage of a bounce like that and make sure we’re in a good position to bury those.

Clearly Luongo is taking a shot at Tim Thomas and how he’s able to play aggressively and successfully. On paper, it looks like a ruthless pot shot but Luongo attempted to dial it back by saying Thomas can make some saves that he won’t but by that point the cat was already out of the bag and now the Bruins have a little extra juice to use heading into a crucial Game 6.

For Luongo, it’s incredible that he’d say anything after the fiasco his previous two starts were in Boston. For a guy that’s only looked strong at home in the Stanley Cup finals, it’s incredible that he’d give Boston any further motivation for Game 6. After all, if Luongo had played as steady and as strong as Thomas has in every game, perhaps the Canucks are already celebrating winning the Stanley Cup.

Instead, Luongo’s no-show act in Boston in Games 3 and 4 have given the Bruins what they need to still be in the series and with how they’ve played at home, it’s hard to think that Vancouver won’t be playing in two more games this year. After all, Boston outscored Vancouver 12-1 in those games at TD Garden with Luongo on the hook for all 12 goals against.

If Luongo wants to continue talking smack like this, he’d be best served by bringing his Vancouver game to Boston in Game 6. Getting lit up one more time in Boston and opening it up for a Game 7 puts himself, his team, and his reputation all on the line in the most maddening way possible. It only makes sense that this series that’s seen so much off-ice drama gets one more heaping spoonful of it. At most we’ve got two games left and at the least we’ve got one more silly off-ice talking point to shout about until Game 6 drops the puck on Monday night.

  1. cannonblast14 - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    And Thomas would have stopped most of the 12 goals Luongo let in the last two games. No story here, moving on.

    • stakex - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:39 AM

      Exactlly… Luongo leaked like a cive the last two games, and hes going to take a shot at a Thomas for letting in one goal? What class….. or lack there of rather.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. if the Canucks win this series it will be despite Luongo, not because of him.

      • canuckdude82 - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:53 AM

        With the different styles they play what he said was true. There is no story here both goalies have said they have a ton of respect for each other. On again media trying to make something out of nothing.

      • cannonblast14 - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:59 AM

        @cacucksdude82. Exactly. If you take one sentence and use it it sounds bad against Luongo. But if you read the whole quote its not what it sounds like. Luongo just meant that they play different.

      • blomfeld - Jun 11, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        @stakex – “Fore !” … hey man, good to see you over here as a hockey fan ! :)
        only too true regarding Luongo … as a Vancouver native, I can tell you that both the Canucks organization and the entire city have been kissing this guy’s ass since the very first day he arrived here … his “classless” shot at Thomas yesterday is no different than when he stated some years ago, that all he cared about was winning the Stanley Cup, whether that’s playing as a member of the Canucks or “not” ! … I don’t like the man period, never have … and I’m pulling for the Bruins to prevail … if the Canucks don’t win this series, then I can tell you that there’s going to be “big” trouble in store for Luongo here … not to mention the “sisters” and the other assorted “rats” on this team …

        ps: Bobby Orr forever ! … :)

  2. warpstonebc - Jun 11, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    It’s just Yerdon being a homer again and trying to take shots at the Canucks with selective context.

    The question was asked on a panel where Lapierre had just been asked about the goal being a set play.

    Let’s be honest, Luongo is the complete opposite of Thomas. He plays quite deep now and would basically have sealed off that tight shot. He’s right. That’s not a shot conventional goalies give up as much as an extreme goalie like Thomas. He also agreed the Thomas can make plays he can’t. Nothing to see here besides what everyone already knows folks. Move along to game 6.

  3. tommytd - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    To the victors go the spoils but these guys just can’t seem to get out of their own way. Take the win and head back to Beantown with a chance to clinch next time around. Why in the world would you want to give B extra incentive (not that they need it) via “bulletin board” material????

    • blomfeld - Jun 11, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      Why ? … because he’s a jerk ! … plain and simple … just wish that I could’ve had a chance to “bump into” him there on the seawall yesterday … trust me, he’d have gotten to see the fishies up close “real quick” ! …

  4. wingsfan1986 - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Loungo has had some of the biggest breakdowns between the pipes for any goalie this playoffs. Not only this series but look at the Chicago open rounder. He should shut his mouth before they put another 8 spot up in game 6.

    • warpstonebc - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      He’s also won a game 7 and pitched 4 shutouts. Thomas has had major brain farts as well. Or have you forgotten how he basically lost several games earlier in the playoffs due to first period gaffes?

      It’s a tough position. Their mistakes are magnified because it usually results in a straight goal. Meanwhile, idiot fans also like to blame them for goals that aren’t their fault too.

      In the end, only winning matters.

      • cannonblast14 - Jun 11, 2011 at 1:52 PM

        Honestly, you cannot say shit about Thomas. There is not one thing you can say that knocks on Thomas if your a Vancouver fan. League records in regular season stats and absolutely stellar in the playoffs. Everybody has brain farts, but Luongo has had multiple game cramps in which he doesnt even know where hes at.

  5. jensen2401 - Jun 11, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Wow. You got all that out of that clip? The chip on your shoulder about Vancouver must be affecting your hearing!

    I got used to home team bias while watching the Sharks’ playoffs season and listening to Randy & Drew on CSN but had hoped that when NBC/Versus took over for the Cup, it’d be a little more even-handed. No such luck…early in the San Jose-Vancouver series, NBC/Versus showed themselves to be the Fox News of hockey coverage.

    Thanks to my local (Sacramento) NBC station preempting the first two periods of Game 1 for some dark, scary clouds in the shape of a funnel, I discovered that there’s radio coverage out there! Vancouver’s 1040 AM station broadcasts all the Canucks games (including away games for the Cup). Unbelievable, their *local* coverage is less biased than NBC/Versus’ *national* coverage.

    For last night’s game, instead of listening to Glenn Beck…err, I mean Mike Milbury, blather on and foam at the mouth while Keith Jones wiped away his spittle, I got to hear a really fantastic interview with a sportswriter from USA Today talking about Thomas’ unique goaltending style and how solid he really is. Imagine that…positive coverage of the opposing team on “local” coverage! It was just great sports journalism; NBC/Versus should try it some time.

    I see that NBC’s Faux News method of “journalism” (using that term very loosely) carries over to their website as well. If anyone is looking for some really good coverage and analysis without all the hysterical pissing and moaning, I highly recommend the USA Today articles:

    As for me, I’ll continue to unplug the three stooges and listen to that Vancouver radio station call the games. I don’t watch Fox News, even when it’s disguised as NBC’s hockey coverage.

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