Roberto Luongo 'focused' on Game 6
"We're up 3-2 in the series and we have a chance to close it out," Luongo said Saturday after practice. "For myself and my teammates we're focused on what's going to happen [Sunday] night and not what's transpired the last two games."
What's transpired is Luongo has been pulled in Games 4 and 5 against the Chicago Blackhawks. He's given up 10 goals on the past 40 shots he's faced.
He's not wavering and neither is his head coach. Alain Vigneault was asked what kind of conversations he has with his goaltender after taking him out of consecutive games.
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"Basically none," Vigneault responded. "I have total confidence in Roberto. He's a great goaltender. He'll do what he has to do."
Despite his past playoff failures against the Hawks and the recent slide, he still has the respect of his opponent. In fact, Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane was caught defending him on Saturday.
"You look at pretty much every goal we've scored on him [and] you really can't blame him on too many of them," Kane said. "I can't think of any you can blame on him. Sometimes you get some breakdowns defensively, it's kind of easy to blame the goalie. I think we had good plays, good shots, and lots of traffic."
The Canucks are treating Game 6 like it's a Game 7. They want the desperation in their game while fighting a hostile crowd.
"I always say I like to play in this building," Luongo said. "It's fun. I love it when the crowd yells at me, even when I get pulled. That's what's fun about playing hockey. You can't always have people on your side. When they are against you I kind of enjoy it even more."
Though Luongo says the Canucks need to have fun while playing, he wouldn't call it a relaxed attitude in the locker room.
"I don't think relaxed exists in the playoffs," he said.
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.