Skip to content

Deflated tires: Roberto Luongo has second thoughts on Tim Thomas Stanley Cup comments

Aug 18, 2011, 10:44 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven Getty Images

While most of us would switch places with a high-level professional athlete like Roberto Luongo in a heartbeat, it’s easy to ignore the drawbacks that come with that job. There are a lot of challenges – from physical pain to the pressure to win in a sport with a small margin of error – but one underrated task comes when players must address the media just moments after they win or lose.

Under normal circumstances, players are prepared to answer reporters’ questions with any number of cliches that pump up their opponents and how hard everyone worked. That being said, the beauty of post-game press conferences is that every now and then, a player lets his guard down and actually says something interesting (and maybe even inflammatory).

One of those moments came after the Vancouver Canucks beat the Boston Bruins 1-0 in Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, when Roberto Luongo critiqued Tim Thomas after the unorthodox goalie’s aggressiveness backfired for the game’s only goal. Luongo said he would have made the save on Maxim Lapierre‘s goal (which happened after Kevin Bieksa bounced the puck off the boards on purpose to take advantage of Thomas’ aggressiveness) and also griped that Thomas hadn’t flattered Luongo during the series. Thomas responded by joking that it wasn’t his job to pump Luongo’s tires.

Those comments looked bad enough after that Game 5 win, but it seemed like a significant foot-in-mouth moment in retrospect. There was a stark contrast in the two goalies’ play in the last two games of the championship series; Thomas allowed two goals in Boston’s two wins while Luongo was pulled from Game 6 and allowed three goals in Vancouver’s Game 7 loss.

This must be a painful off-season for the oh-so-close Canucks, but Luongo received the greatest amount of blame for Vancouver’s crushing defeat. Canucks Army provides a translated interview that covers the goalie’s summer, including his regrets about making those comments about Thomas.

“I thought of the finals earlier in the summer, but now I think it’s a part of the past.” said Luongo. “I have good memories of last year, it was a very good season. But it sure hurts a little. I especially remember the last game in Vancouver. It’s hard to relive the final seconds of the seventh game in the Stanley Cup finals.”

“Fortunately, I spend my summers in Florida and it’s pretty quiet there,” said the 32 year old goaltender in consolation.

(snip)

Does Luongo regret the statement [about Thomas]?

“Yeah, for sure. If I could do it again, I wouldn’t say it. I didn’t want to create the buzz that it did. After the fifth game, I had never been so emotional and I got carried away.”

Luongo received a lot of abuse for his statements and struggles during that seven-game series, with much of the wounds being self-inflicted. Even if he’s had his low moments, Luongo had a great regular season and his fair share of strong playoff performances. If he can keep the media and fan criticisms from getting to him, he has a great chance for another standout season in 2011-12.

Luongo might want to be a little more careful about what he says from now on, though.

Latest Posts
  1. Ducks invite Yip to training camp for tryout

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:48 PM EDT

    Brandon Yip, Derek Forbort AP

    Brendan Bell also gets a chance to impress.

  2. Blue Jackets say Horton may miss start of 2014-15 season

    Sep 17, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    His back issues present another headache for Columbus.

  3. Report: Canucks invite Wyman to camp

    Sep 17, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    He has 44 games of NHL experience under his belt.

  4. Wild hand Bryzgalov a training camp tryout

    Sep 17, 2014, 6:39 PM EDT

    Ilya Bryzgalov AP

    Insert your “humongous big” jokes here.

  5. Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier

    Sep 17, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    His agent says it’s best to leave town and avoiding being a distraction.

  6. Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT

    Ryan Kesler Getty Images

    “No matter how much my old teammates say it doesn’t bother them, it affects them. It does in that city.”

  7. In making case, Johansen’s agent stresses importance of top centers

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    And on the possibility of his client signing an offer sheet? “Well, we’ll have to see.”

  8. Sharks re-sign Braun to five-year, $19 million deal

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Justin Braun Getty Images

    “Justin has emerged as one of our most well-rounded and dependable defensemen.”

  9. Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    “We’ve been told if we don’t give them what they want, they’ll be leaving town.”

  10. Sens angry with Methot’s agent for leaking ‘false’ contract details

    Sep 17, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT

    MarcMethot Getty Images

    “I’ve been with the team for eight years, and I don’t know if I’ve been more disappointed about anything that’s been written,” said Pierre Dorion.

  11. Hiller: Final months with Ducks were ‘frustrating’

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, of the Czech Republic, gets water after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

    “I actually thought I had a great year up to the Olympic break and even after.”

  12. Agent: Staal, Rangers making progress towards contract extension

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Jussi Jokinen, Marc Staal AP

    “The tenor of the talks has been good, so we’ll keep going and keep working on it.”

  13. Report: Ryan turned down Sens’ seven-year, $49M offer

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

    TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 1: Bobby Ryan #6 of the Ottawa Senators skates in the warm-up prior to playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 1, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Yet he says his contract status won’t be an issue this season.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Harding (1292)
  2. N. Niederreiter (1110)
  3. P. Rinne (1107)
  4. S. Crosby (1105)
  5. B. Schenn (1063)