By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Roberto Luongo announced his retirement on Wednesday. Next stop: the Hockey Hall of Fame, probably.
Luongo is one of the most prolific netminders in NHL history. He’s second all-time among all goalies in games played (1,044), third in wins (489), 10th in save percentage (.919), ninth in shutouts (77). He never won a Stanley Cup or a Vezina Trophy, but that probably won’t keep him out of the Hall.
That Cup part, though. Bruins fans know that all too well. Luongo will forever be best remembered in Boston for his performance in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, both on and off the ice. On it he was a disaster in his starts in Boston – 15 goals allowed on 66 shots in three starts. Off it, he became a villain when he now-famously pouted over Tim Thomas not complimenting him in the media.
“I’ve been pumping his tires ever since the series started,” Luongo said of Thomas before Game 6 of the Cup Final. “I haven’t heard one nice thing he had to say about me.”
Thomas had a now-iconic response in his first press conference after the comments: “I didn’t realize it was my job to pump his tires. I guess I have to apologize for that.”
Of course, Thomas went on to outplay Luongo in Game 7 and win the Bruins their first Stanley Cup since 1972 and take home a much-deserved Conn Smythe Trophy.
All in good fun at this point. Luongo deserves all kinds of respect and accolades for his accomplishments over his 19 years in the NHL. Bruins fans had a front-row seat to the low point of what was an otherwise great career.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.