BOSTON — Now we know that not only is Roberto Luongo a world-class goaltender, he’s a glutton for punishment.
The perennial All-Star and 2011 Vezina Trophy finalist explained today that he requested head coach Alain Vigneault leave him in last night’s Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final even after the Bruins had taken a 5-1 lead en route to a series-saving 8-1 victory.
“Alain asked me when there was about eight minutes left. I said I wanted to stay in. If I would have known they would have scored three more times, I might have thought about it,” he said to laughter at Boston University’s Case Gym on an off day. “Even though we were losing 5-1, it was a pretty intense game and I still wanted to be in there.”
Luongo and the Canucks still lead the series 2-1 heading into Game 4 tomorrow night. There’s been some speculation that such a beating mind have crushed Luongo’s psyche, but the veteran netminder says he doesn’t think that way.
“The score doesn’t really matter. We’re in the playoffs. It’s all about winning a game, right?” he said. “As a team, we’ve got to look at it as we lost a game. We’ve just got to get back to doing the things we do. No matter what the score of the game is, we have to keep playing our game, not deviate from our game plan. Whether we’re trailing by one goal or up by one goal, we have to play our game.”
Luongo has survived some dicey stretches in the postseason, including getting pulled in back-to-back games in the first-round series against Chicago. He bounced back to win Game 7 and lead the Canucks to a 10-3 record over the next 13 games after that. So it doesn’t look like one bad game against the Bruins has him ready to surrender.
“Like I said before the series started, I waited my whole life to be here. I’m not going to put my head down. It’s time to get back to work,” he said. “Obviously last night was disappointing for all of us. We have a great opportunity. We’re in the Cup final. Even though there are going to be some tough times, you have to be in the moment and focus.”