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. Quenneville gets $25,000 fine for ‘bush-league move’

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT

    Joel Quenneville AP

    This isn’t the first time he’s been fined.

  2. Poile: Nashville’s defense will be best we’ve ever had

    Apr 18, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    sethjonesgetty Getty Images

    That’s a pretty bold statement, given that Nashville used to have blueliners like Kimmo Timonen and Ryan Suter.

  3. Report: AHL could have new division in western U.S.

    Apr 18, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT

    AHLlogo

    Apparently, the “Coyotes, Ducks, Kings, and Sharks are on board” with relocating their minor-league affiliates closer to home.

  4. Stars farmhand Morin wins AHL MVP

    Apr 18, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT

    TravisMorin2 Getty Images

    30-year-old vet led the league in scoring.

  5. High praise: Julien compliments Detroit’s ‘layers’

    Apr 18, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT

    Claude Julien Getty Images

    Usually he reserves that word for his own team.

  6. Quenneville apologizes for ‘bush league move’ in OT vs. Blues

    Apr 18, 2014, 2:02 PM EDT

    75962_blackhawks_quenneville_hockey

    “It wasn’t very appropriate at all.”

  7. Get your game notes: Stars at Ducks

    Apr 18, 2014, 12:53 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Anaheim Ducks - Game One Getty Images

    Rookie goalie Frederik Andersen made 32 stops for Anaheim in Game 1.

  8. Get your game notes: Red Wings at Bruins

    Apr 18, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 14: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins has words with Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings at the TD Garden on October 14, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

    Catch the game tonight on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET.

  9. Report: additional suitors for Isles emerge

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    New York Islanders Media Day Getty Images

    Andrew Barroway has company in his pursuit of Charles Wang’s (pictured) Brooklyn-bound team.

  10. Report: Isles likely to give 2015 first-rounder to Sabres

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

    garthsnowgetty Getty Images

    Suggesting they’ll hold onto the fifth overall selection at this year’s draft.

  11. Getzlaf to play Game 2, looks awful

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    Getzlaf

    “Luckily he’s married.”

  12. Video: PHT Extra — can Detroit exploit Boston’s blueline?

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

    NyquistRasnk AP

    Plus a look at Game 2 of the Bolts-Habs and Stars-Ducks series.

  13. Ovechkin to play for Russia at World Championships

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:08 AM EDT

    Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

    He’ll try to end the year on an up note.

Featured video

Detroit must exploit Boston's young D
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4442)
  2. T. Oshie (4134)
  3. M. Duchene (3783)
  4. B. Bishop (3211)
  5. H. Zetterberg (2960)
  1. V. Tarasenko (2846)
  2. P. Bergeron (2843)
  3. D. Backes (2754)
  4. O. Palat (2710)
  5. M. Brodeur (2565)