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Luongo says Canucks have to respond

Thursday, 05.06.2010 / 8:37 PM / News
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Luongo says Canucks have to respond
Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo says the Canucks have to get in the face of his Chicago counterpart Antti Niemi -- just as the Hawks did to him in Game 3.
VANCOUVER – Roberto Luongo had to put up with more than just a barrage of shots from the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3. After a two-game absence from the front of the net, Dustin Byfuglien finally paid him a visit.

Byfuglien was in Luongo’s grill for all three of his goals, pacing the Blackhawks to a 5-2 win over Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night in Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinal series. Afterwards, the Canucks captain was candid about what needs to be done to hinder Byfuglien and how Vancouver might find success in returning the bruising favor to Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi.

Q: The Blackhawks were coming at you hard all night. What are your thoughts on how often they were in your face?

Luongo: That’s the way they play. The only way we can answer that is doing the same thing on the other side. There’s nothing we can do about it. I can’t be worried about whether I get the call or not, the only way we can respond is by doing the same thing on the other side.

Q: Can you play through stuff like that?

Luongo: You try the best you can -- what else are you going to do? There’s not much you can do, you can’t argue a call like that, once it’s called, it’s called. You try doing your best to hold your ground there, but obviously sometimes it’s impossible. That being said, we just need to do the same on the other side.

Q
: Are you saying you guys need to be more in Niemi’s face?

Luongo
: What I’m saying is that if they do it on us and it’s not being called, we’ve got to do the same to the other side to at least get it evened up as far as advantages are concerned. We’ve got to get some traffic; obviously we still get some traffic but sometimes those guys are in the blue and maybe we should get a little more liberated.

Q: How do you contain Dustin Byfuglien’s net presence?

Luongo: He had a good game tonight, obviously, but he’s just another guy in front of the net. Once the shot is taken you’ve got to take away his stick and make sure that he doesn’t get any whacks at it. That’s how he scores.

Q: Does Chicago now have momentum in this series?

Luongo: Momentum is overrated. Everybody said we have the momentum after Game 1; now everybody is saying they have momentum, so it doesn’t really matter. Last series we were down in L.A., same thing, 2-1, so it’s one game at a time, we’ve got to come back tomorrow, have a good practice, work hard, make sure we do the good things on the ice and come next game ready to play right away.

Q: Did they get you guys off your game, discipline-wise?

Luongo: Once the game is over, obviously things tend to happen, that’s why we don’t want to have anything after the whistle, especially when the game is on the line. I don’t think Burrows really did anything there, but that’s just the way it goes. That’s why you want to stay out of it, to avoid any calls like that.

Q: Most of the goals against tonight were rebound goals. Was it just one of those nights?

Luongo
: When there’s traffic and shots, sometimes it’s tough to control rebounds. Duncan Keith has a slapper from the top of the circle, I don’t know how you can control a rebound off that. It squirted out, I tried to cover it and obviously there were some sticks there whacking at it. You’ve just got to fight, sometimes, unfortunately, rebounds are impossible to control. 

Author: Derek Jory | NHL.com Correspondent