Roberto Luongo has had a rough go of things in net for the Florida Panthers as of late. Head coach Tom Rowe believes his struggles have amounted to one thing: Being unlucky.
Luongo has allowed 32 goals in his last nine games, including 11 in his last three. On Wednesday night in San Jose, Luongo gave up five goals on 34 shots in a 6-5 OT win. Rowe didn’t criticize Luongo for his poor play, instead, he said he was unlucky and blamed own-goal deflections.
“Lu has been the most unlucky goalie I think I’ve ever been around,” Rowe said during a press conference on Thursday.” I mean, a lot of these goals are going off our shin pads, off of our sticks. We’re not doing a good job at all of tying sticks up in front of our net.”
Luck certainly plays into it, but Luongo has been brutal for a full month. He’s a great goalie, but his struggles are somewhat his fault – even if he’s caught a few bad breaks.
Rowe admitted he’s going to get Florida players to make sure that when they’re in front of Luongo they need to make sure they block the shot or get out of the way.
He’s battling right now, but Luongo will be fine. He’s too talented of a netminder to continue to be this bad. Luck or lack thereof comes and goes.