Now that he’s 36, no one is going to be fooled into thinking Florida Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo is the same goaltender who was a Vezina Trophy candidate three times in seven seasons. But Luongo remains one of the most successful goaltenders in NHL history, and he still has more than a few moments of brilliance left in his pads.
Take Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, for instance. The Panthers were leading 2-1 and the Ducks were pressing late in the third period while on the power play when a puck was worked back to defenseman Cam Fowler. Fowler teed up a blast from the blueline which Luongo turned aside, but a juicy rebound found its way to the Ducks’ Chris Stewart.
Stewart had time to wind up and put his own blast on goal, but Luongo dove to his left, threw his hands up and was able to knock Stewart’s attempt down and cover the puck:
It was a busy night for Luongo, whose stop on Stewart was one of 37 the Panthers netminder made on the evening.
Eventually, Anaheim’s Corey Perry would tie the contest on the power play with the Ducks’ net empty. A fortunate bounce hopped onto Perry’s stick and he was able to knock it home. The Panthers would go on to lose in a shootout.
Luongo still sits four wins shy of moving into eighth on the all-time wins list. Currently at 404 in his career, Luongo could realistically surpass Hall of Famer Tony Esposito this season, who finished his career with 423 career victories.