Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has admitted he regrets what he said about Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas following Maxim Lapierre's game-winning goal in Game 5 of this past June's Stanley Cup Finals, according to an interview with Radio-Canada at a golf tournament Luongo hosted Tuesday.
When asked in an interview with Radio-Canada whether he regretted his comments after Game 5, Luongo said via CSNNE:
Yes, definitely. If I could do it over again, I wouldn't say it. I didn't think it would create that kind of buzz. After Game 5, I've never been that emotional and I got carried away.
Lapierre scored the only goal of Game 5 off a rebound from the end boards on a shot fired from the point by Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.
Thomas was playing outside the crease and was unable to get back to the goal line and prevent Lapierre's shot from going in; many blamed Thomas' aggression for the goal.
Regarding Lapierre's goal in Game 5, Luongo said the following about Thomas:
It's not hard if you're playing in the paint. It's an easy save for me, but if you're wandering out and aggressive like he does, that's going to happen. He might make some saves that I won't, but in a case like that, we want to take advantage of a bounce like that and make sure we're in a good position to bury those.
Do you think Luongo's comments after Game 5 gave Thomas extra motivation?
Luongo's history of not being able to perform in the clutch wasn't helped by his remarks about Thomas, who in the next two games of the series allowed two goals in a 5-2 Game 6 win, then shut out the Canucks in Vancouver, 4-0, in Game 7 for the Stanley Cup championship.
It's never a good idea to fire up an opposing team's goaltender, especially one as good as Tim Thomas. Even if Thomas was pretty much unaffected by the comments, he still severely outplayed Luongo after Game 5—and in the series as a whole.
Luongo and the Canucks will be under enormous pressure all season to get back to and win the Cup Finals, after being outplayed the entire series despite taking the Bruins to seven games.
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins featured columnist for Bleacher Report, and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston. Follow him on Twitter for NHL news and analysis. Follow @NicholasGoss35