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Sport Roberto Luongo injury could be the final blow to Panthers’ disastrous season

06:20  07 december  2017
06:20  07 december  2017 Source:   sbnation.com

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This is a loss that the Panthers could ill afford as they’ve tried to shake off a disappointing 10-13-4 start to the season . The team is 20th in goals for, 27th in goals You’d think a team that’s 27th in goals allowed would be getting disastrous goaltending, but Luongo has been very good this season .

The Panthers only hope for postseason hockey is that the Canadiens revert back to their early season form. 7 December 2017. Florida Panthers are hapless without injured Roberto Luongo .

a group of people riding skis on top of a sign© Provided by Vox Media, Inc.

Nothing has gone according to plan for the Florida Panthers this season, and now that includes the health of starting goalie Roberto Luongo, who will be “out for a while” due to a lower-body injury. Florida coach Bob Boughner revealed the news Wednesday, according to the Sun-Sentinel’s Matthew DeFranks.

“Whether that’s three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, we’re going to see how his rehab goes, that kind of thing,” Boughner said. “Definitely out for a while.”

This is a loss that the Panthers could ill afford as they’ve tried to shake off a disappointing 10-13-4 start to the season. The team is 20th in goals for, 27th in goals against, 20th in 5-on-5 Corsi, 26th on the power play, and 29th on the penalty kill. In just about every measure, this has been a bad team.

Roberto Luongo focused on helping Panthers win, not on setting records

  Roberto Luongo focused on helping Panthers win, not on setting records The Panthers veteran is only the second goalie in NHL history to win 200 games with two different teams. Roberto Luongo of the @FlaPanthers is the second goaltender in NHL history to earn 200+ wins with two different franchises, joining Patrick Roy. #NHLStats#FLAvsNJDpic.twitter.com/MiCoT0dxYZ— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 28, 2017The only other goaltender to accomplish the feat? Hockey Hall of Famer Patrick Roy. Pretty awesome company to keep. Yet when asked about his latest accomplishment, the 38-year-old Luongo remained unimpressed.

This is a loss that the Panthers could ill afford as they’ve tried to shake off a disappointing 10-13-4 start to the season . The team is 20th in goals for, 27th in goals against, 20th in 5-on-5 Corsi, 26th on the power play, and 29th on the penalty kill. In just about every measure, this has been a bad team.

Roberto Luongo helped off ice during Panthers ' opener. Roberto Luongo departed in the second period after teammate Frank Vatrano landed on J.T Miller and Nikita Kucherov scored in the shootout and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Panthers 2-1 in the regular- season opener for both teams

Now staring at a month or more without its top netminder, Florida may be running out of time to turn things around and make a playoff push.

Luongo has been a bright spot

You’d think a team that’s 27th in goals allowed would be getting disastrous goaltending, but Luongo has been very good this season. Among goaltenders to play at least 500 minutes, he’s fifth in save percentage (.928) and 11th in Goals Saved Above Average (+7.9), which accounts for shot volume and location.

Without him, the Panthers don’t have many good options. Backup James Reimer has had success in the past but posted a .892 save percentage in 14 games this season. The team’s waiver claim of Antti Niemi went poorly enough that he was quickly waived again (and somehow scooped up by another team with goalie issues).

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Roberto Luongo leaves Florida Panthers opener with leg injury . Luongo ’s health was the concern all offseason long for the Panthers , and already in game one are those fears realized. Now this injury could either be nothing and Luongo could be back shortly, or this could mean he’s out for a while

Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya both got injured in the Panthers ' game against the Leafs, so goalie coach Rob Tallas put on the pads and prepared to play. You can change this preference below. Roberto Luongo eventually came back in to relieve Montoya.

Florida, for much of this season, has been a struggling team propped up by the play of its 38-year-old goaltender. Now he’s hurt — a thing that happens to 38-year-old goaltenders — and there’s a good chance the Panthers are straight up exposed as the underwhelming team they are.

Time isn’t on their side

Any team can weather a bad stretch over an 82-game season, and the Panthers may reasonably expect to have Luongo back in the lineup by the end of January given the current timetable.

But the problem for Florida is that it needs to do more than just hold the fort without its starting netminder. The Panthers need to start making up ground in an Atlantic Division where they’re in seventh place. This is a team playing at a roughly 72-73 point pace over 82 games, which would manage to make last year’s disappointing 81-point effort look like an improvement.

And remember, they’ve played at that pace while having Luongo play very good hockey in more than half of their games. The bottom could really fall out if the team or Reimer doesn’t step up in Luongo’s absence.

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Roberto Luongo (/luˈɒŋɡoʊ/; born April 4, 1979) is a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Prior to the injury , Luongo stopped all 12 shots he faced and the Panthers led 1-0. While Reimer is a solid No. 2 goalie, the Panthers are hoping that Luongo can remain healthy this season and handle the bulk of the work in net. Luongo is the winningest active goaltender in the NHL with 471 victories.

This surely isn’t what the Panthers envisioned when they turned the ship back over to GM Dale Tallon over the summer. Remember, he gave up five (Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Jaromir Jagr, Jussi Jokinen, and Jason Demers) of the team’s top eight point producers from last season as part of an overhaul to move away from the work of the previous, analytics-focused front office.

That’s proven to be a disaster, and now Luongo’s injury might be the final nail in Florida’s coffin.


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