Roberto Luongo may have been routinely mistreated by the Vancouver Canucks over the course of his tenure in the “goalie graveyard,” but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t putting up stellar numbers. And now that he’s been back in Florida with the Panthers, the world class goalie has done more of the same.
Luongo may be the oldest starting goaltender in the National Hockey League, but he’s been getting it done and then some. On Monday night, he posted a 39-save shutout against Tampa Bay and now boasts a save percentage of .926 to go with a 2.35 goals against average. Luongo continues to get peppered in shots, facing 446 so far this season. Only Craig Anderson, Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan Miller have seen more rubber this year. And only Lundqvist has a better save percentage out of that quartet.
Luongo has always faced a lot of shots. That’s just how he rolls. He seems to rise to every challenge and manages to pick up wins. He’s posted 407 career wins thus far, good enough to tie Glenn Hall on the all-time list. It took Hall 906 games to reach that plateau, while Luongo has done it in 878 games.
Luongo has always seen a lot of action over the years, too. In 2006-2007, he played in 76 games for the Canucks and won 47. He posted a 2.29 goals against average, a .921 save percentage and faced 2,169 shots on target. That was his first year in Vancouver, by the way. The year before that, he played in 75 games for the Panthers and won 35.
The knock on Luongo has always rested with his inability to win the big one and that’s always going to be an issue.
While he’s been a Vezina Trophy finalist three times in his career (2004, 2007, 2011), he’s only come close to winning the Stanley Cup and hasn’t been able to seal the deal with a reliable post-season team. And while those gold medals with Team Canada doubtlessly look good on the shelf, they don’t do a whole lot for those looking at NHL accomplishments.
Still, the facts seem clear: Roberto Luongo makes saves. A lot of them. And he’s been piling them up again for the Panthers this season, which gives Florida a chance to win every night. They may not be able to capitalize on these opportunities just yet, but Bobby Lu rolls on all the same.