On anniversary of Bieksa’s finals-clinching goal, Roberto Luongo celebrates finals berth with Panthers
9 months ago
12 years ago today, Roberto Luongo skated out from his goal crease, arms raised in the air after teammate Kevin Bieksa put an end to a gruelling night in which Luongo was on his feet for over 89 minutes.
And tonight, he got to celebrate another cup final berth-clinching goal, albeit with less goalie equipment on.
On Wednesday night, the Florida Panthers completed the sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, punching their ticket to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.
Luongo’s celebrations have been caught by cameras and talked about all playoffs long. Luongo, on-brand as ever, even had some fun with it on Twitter:
12 years ago to the date, Luongo celebrated going to the only Stanley Cup Final of his playing career after Bieksa’s stanchion goal sealed the deal for the Canucks in double overtime of game five of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks. Unfortunately, the Hall of Famer never got to secure that Stanley Cup ring as a player despite coming oh-so-close in 2011.
We’ve already established that the Panthers and Canucks are essentially the opposite of rivals, and with the easy to hate Pacific Division champion Vegas Golden Knights likely moving onto the final, there will be few Canucks fans rooting against Luongo and the Panthers in this year’s Stanley Cup Final.
As for Bobby Lu, it goes without saying that Luongo will one day be an NHL general manager, as the Hall of Fame goaltender is well respected in hockey circles everywhere. Luongo served as Team Canada’s general manager for the 2021 IIHF World Championship, putting together a team that eventually went on to win gold in Riga, Latvia.
Now, he can often be seen chatting with Panthers GM Bill Zito as a senior advisor, and when the Panthers score a game-winning goal, you’re not likely to miss his celebration.
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