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Question of the Day
“The guy that made the comment, I’m not quite sure how many he let in,” Julien said. “I think you guys have a good idea, so I don’t think (Thomas) is going to lose sleep over that.”
“He played well,” Luongo said. “He’s played well all series and I’ve said that from the start.”
Even the fans got into the assault on Luongo Monday. One held a gold poster, reading, “Hey, Luongo: How is that ‘playing in the paint’ thing working out 4 u?”
The goalie even had to endure the common hockey sing-song taunts as he sat at the end of the Vancouver bench in the second period.
“We want Luongo,” the fans chanted.
Others simply offered a drawn-out, “Lu-on-go.”
The stay-at-home goalie had a career-best 2.11 goals against average in the regular season and 2.16 in the playoffs before Game 3. But until this year, he was 11-11 in his two playoff seasons and had never taken a team past the second round.
He struggled again on Monday, just as he did in the opening round against Chicago where he won the first three games. But he was pulled from the next two and didn’t even start Game 6, although he came in after Schneider experienced cramps. The Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions, won them all.
But in Game 7, Luongo allowed only one of Chicago’s 32 shots to get by him, and Vancouver won on Alex Burrows’ overtime goal.
“We’ve seen (Luongo rebound) time and time again. The biggest pressure was Game 7 against Chicago,” Schneider said, looking ahead to the final game at home. “He won a gold medal in that building and he’s been in these situations.”
On Monday, Luongo allowed goals to Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and Andrew Ference in the first 8:35. Schneider came in before play resumed after Ference’s goal, and 70 seconds later, Schneider gave up another goal to Michael Ryder.
But the next time Luongo plays, he’ll be surrounded by friendly fans and a familiar net where he has been a winner _ against Chicago in Game 7, in the Olympics and in the Stanley Cup finals.
“It’s one game, winner take all,” he said. “I’ve been in those situations before. I know how to handle it. I’ll be ready for it.”
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