Two days ago a Twitter image of goalie pads strung from a telephone wire circled the hockey universe. Future first ballot Hall of Famer Roberto Luongo quiet literally hung up his pad. To explain to our viewers what this man meant to me is difficult.
From 2001 to 2006 the Penguins were hot garbage. Lucky for my brother and I the Florida Panthers came to the Igloo at least twice a season. For us those games were can’t miss because of one player, Ruberto Luongo. If my family had money for such things I guarantee we both would have had the man’s jersey. He was maginicant. His form was always perfect, his glove hand electric and he could make a tape to tape pass from goal line to the far blue line. Most fans sit in the home team offensive zone to see goals we sat there to see them stopped.
Tho he retires without a cup ring his legacy is far from empty. He is 5th all time in wins, 2nd all time in games played, 7th in Goals Against, 10th in Save Percentage, and 9th in Shutouts. His playoff record is 34-35 boasting a 0.918 Save Percentage and a 2.49 GAA. His biggest championship game came in 2008 and when he usurped Martin Brodure to become the starter for the Canadian Olympic Team. He helped the Canadian team climb back into the tournament that Brodure had all but shepherded them out of. They would go on to defeat the Americans in overtime of the Gold Medal Game. Largely on the back of Luongo he held off the American’s push to win the game in the third period.
I worry that people will remember Luongo for his failures instead of his accomplishments. He did have a let down in game seven vs Boston in the 2011 Cup Final. However the run he went on to get them there was legendary. He was famously named captain of the Vancouver Canucks until he had to give up the C after that game seven performance.
My hope is that people remember him for his ability to take over games. Win games by literally not allowing a goal for multiple game stretches. He was also a personality in a league that mostly has none. His twitter account is legendary. Most recently volunteering to wave the Boston Bruins Fan Banner before game seven of the Stanley Cup Final.
Roberto Luongo for years was one of the best goalies in the league. His trophy case maybe a little empty but the legacy he left behind is not. His form and style of play was the blueprint for the goalies of today. His personality was magnetic, and his gear style was legendary. So allow me to start the official Bobby Lou for the hall campaign.