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

06:20  07 december  2017
06:20  07 december  2017 Source:

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Jeremy Clements: 2017 NXS season final result. Roberto Luongo will be the Panthers ' starter Friday night. It will be Luongo 's third consecutive start since returning from a hand injury .

Roberto Luongo allowed two goals on 32 shots in Friday's 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks. The Panthers were up 1-0 heading into the The loss drops Luongo 's record to 6-6-1 on the season . He'll enter his next start with a 2.61 goals-against-average and a .928 save percentage this season .

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.— 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.

Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo works out at the IceDen in Coral Springs on Monday morning. Luongo missed the final six weeks of the 2016-17 season due to injury stemming from his hip surgery last summer.

It has finally happened. Roberto Luongo has been traded. The final piece of the puzzle appears to be Shawn Matthias. He's had a disappointing season in Florida, but he might find a place in Vancouver. The Panthers get someone who can solidify their crease for many years to come.

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 has been dealing with mysterious injury for some time; said to be related to hip problem from last year. — George. Tom Rowe says Roberto Luongo out a week but it could be longer. The Panthers sit just a point behind the New York Islanders for the final wild-card spot

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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In Florida’s favor is the fact that the two teams play three times over the final month of the regular season , a great opportunity to gain ground. If they can get Luongo back soon rather than later If the goalie injury jinx continues to hit the Panthers , well, then there's always Robb Tallas, right?

Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo talks about the importance of entering this season without a mindset of not getting lost in the big picture and prepare for each individual game. Transactions/ Injuries .

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.

Jailed Mexican ex-governor fails in appeal against extradition .
Roberto Borge, a former Mexican state governor wanted for corruption and detained in Panama, has failed in a bid to halt extradition proceedings, Panama's Supreme Court said Monday.It was deemed there were no legal obstacles for Borge, who used to run southern Quintana Roo state, to be sent back to his home country to face justice, the court said in a statement.

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