Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya were both injured during Florida’s Tuesday night matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Although the team’s ability to come together when it happened was touching, though, that did little to help them when faced with an impending playoff push.
The Panthers are three games out but two points back on the Boston Bruins; having a healthy Luongo and Montoya would have done wonders towards giving them that much-needed nudge into the post-season. Seeing not just the starting netminder but the backup as well go down during a game made it painfully clear how close the Panthers were to seeing the post-season — and how easily that could change without consistency in the crease.
The news is worse when it comes to backup Al Montoya; he’s out at least two weeks with a groin injury, giving the team pause in regards to exactly how close they can get to making a true playoff push.
For Luongo, though, the prognosis is a little brighter; with only two games slated to be missed, the iconic Bobby Lu could be back in for Florida soon enough. The team has implied that he’ll be day to day after the two missed games, but that his injury — something related to his shoulder — doesn’t seem to be too serious. Makes sense; after racing back from the hospital to take over the crease on Tuesday night following Montoya’s injury, Luongo continued to deny all shots he was faced with. Had Montoya not been allowed to return to the game (he allowed three goals before Luongo stepped back in) the team may have pulled off a win against the hapless Leafs.
With the news good-but-not-great in Florida, though, it makes Boston’s misfortune in comparison seem that much greater — the defending president’s trophy winners lost their trade deadline acquisition within his first practice for a broken finger; new Bruins forward Brett Connolly is out six weeks after blocking a puck.
Given the situation — and the games both Luongo and Montoya are slated to miss — makes the post-deadline acquisition of a goalie seem that much more intriguing. If both could be back in soon enough, adding a reliable backup to stand in while they’re out (currently the team is icing a tandem of their AHL and ECHL starters) could be useful in the long run. It comes down to the team’s desire to part with assets for a piece that won’t be eligible to see the post-season; as we stated yesterday, the CBA bans teams from playing post-deadline acquisitions in playoff contests.