Thanks in large part to a three-point game from forward Jonathan Marchessault, the Florida Panthers were able to win their second consecutive game to open the 2016-17 season by beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday night.
It was also a big night for veteran goalie Roberto Luongo who stopped 21 shots to pick up his 438th win in the NHL.
That win moves him to sole possession of sixth place on the NHL’s all-time wins list, moving him ahead of Hall of Famer Jacques Plante. Assuming he stays healthy, he should be able to move into the top-four by the end of this season.
He trails Terry Sawchuk (447) by only nine wins for fifth place, and is only 16 behind Curtis Joseph (454) for fourth.
The obvious asterisk that will get pointed out here is that Luongo has played the bulk of his career in the shootout era where he’s had an opportunity to pile up a bunch of wins that the likes of Sawchuk, Plante and Joseph never had. That is certainly true.
Since the start of the 2005-06 season Luongo has been able to add 46 wins to his career total thanks to the shootout. Before then those games would have simply ended in ties. But even if you knock 46 wins off of his career total, he would still be in the top-12 on the NHL’s all-times win list and end up in the top-10 by the end of this season anyway.
The bottom line with Luongo is that he has had a pretty spectacular career that has featured both tremendous longevity and durability at a physically demanding position (he is still playing at an elite level at an age where most goalies have badly declined), as well as periods of dominance.
It has not yet resulted in a Stanley Cup, but he did take the Vancouver Canucks to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011 (a series where he recorded two shutouts, a fact that gets forgotten because of the way the series ended) and he has won an Olympic Gold Medal.
At 37 and coming off of hip surgery over the summer the Panthers would probably be wise to give him some rest throughout the season to make sure he remains rested and refreshed for a potential playoff run. They signed James Reimer to a five-year, $17 million contract this summer to help do just that.
Roberto Luongo was up to his old tricks on Father’s Day. Luongo, who you can find on Twitter as Strombone1, stole the show with a hilarious tweet on Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers goalie wished his “daddy” a Happy Father’s Day. Who’s his daddy? Well, Bruins forward Brad Marchand, of course.
The two battled in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final when Luongo played for the Canucks. The Bruins won the cup in seven games and Marchand scored five goals in the series.
Other Father’s Day gems from Sunday:
Marchand and his father:
—Ian Cole and his father got to enjoy the Stanley Cup:
–Some of the more famous dads in Sports via Sportsnet.
—Bo Horvat can always count on some advice for his father…even when he doesn’t want it:
Roberto Luongo isn’t just having a great season at an advanced age. He’s also reminding people of his impressive, perhaps Hall-of-Fame-worthy career.
He played nicely in the Florida Panthers’ 5-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. It wasn’t just a win that celebrated Aleksander Barkov‘s extension, either (Barkov scored in the contest, by the way).
Nope, Luongo continues to climb up the all-time rankings, as his 423rd career regular season win ties him with Tony Esposito for seventh in NHL history.
Here are the top seven, for your consideration:
1. Martin Brodeur – 691 wins
2. Patrick Roy – 551
3. Ed Belfour – 484
4. Curtis Joseph – 454
5. Terry Sawchuk – 447
6. Jacques Plante – 437
7. Espo and Lou – 423
In case you’re wondering, the highest-ranked active goalies not named Luongo are Henrik Lundqvist (17th place with 362 wins), Marc-Andre Fleury (20th with 340) and Ryan Miller (22nd with 334).
Where do you think Luongo ends this season, and when he hangs up the goalie pads to tweet funny things full-time?
The Florida Panthers got some work done off the ice Saturday, announcing head coach Gerard Gallant had signed a contract extension.
A few hours later, they took care of business on the ice.
The Panthers are red hot right now. They’ve won eight in a row. On Saturday, they shut out the New York Rangers by a final score of 3-0 before an announced sold out crowd of 20,289 fans.
And they regain top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Goaltending has been key to the Panthers’ success.
Roberto Luongo, at 36 years old, is giving the Panthers superb goaltending. He made 40 saves versus the Rangers, while his team manufactured only 20 shots on goal against Henrik Lundqvist.
Twice during this streak, Luongo has recorded a shut out, and has allowed only nine goals in his last seven starts.
Even at his age, he continues to put up very good numbers — a .929 save percentage, which is seventh best in the league, and a 2.09 goals-against average, which is also seventh.
Even more impressive is the fact Luongo remains one of the busiest puck stoppers, facing the fourth most shots (916 after Saturday’s game) among NHL goalies.
At 36, Roberto Luongo is the oldest starting goalie in the NHL.
But age doesn’t seem to be slowing him down.
Luongo posted a 39-save shutout last night as his Panthers blanked Tampa Bay, 1-0.
Florida was outshot, 39-20.
“[The Lightning] probably deserved a better fate, but Luongo was outstanding tonight,” said Panthers coach Gerard Gallant.
How good has Luongo been on the season?
Well, there are 27 goalies in the league with at least 10 starts. Of those 27, only five have a higher save percentage than Luongo’s .926.
Not bad for a guy who’s played 878 career NHL games, by far the most of any active netminder. Henrik Lundqvist is second with 634.
Related: Luongo says Panthers cannot accept anything ‘beneath’ playoffs