No kneed to panic -- Luongo plays through injury

RANDY SPORTAK

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

You can excuse Alain Vigneault and the rest of the Vancouver Canucks if they saw their season falling apart on the opening weekend.

Certainly when star netminder Roberto Luongo was writhing on the ice late in the second period of last night's clash with the Calgary Flames, it didn't look good.

Luongo admitted the knee injury he suffered must be closely monitored, but following last night's 4-3 victory he was of the belief all's well enough.

"I kinda did the same thing towards the end of last season, but I was able to play through it the last couple of weeks of the season and the playoffs. We'll just have to keep an eye on it and treat it," Luongo said.

"Right off the bat, I didn't know how serious it was. I thought it could be more serious than it ended up being."

Canucks defenceman Aaron Miller nearly put the club's MVP -- he was a finalist for both the Hart and Vezina trophies last season -- out of action when he shoved Daymond Langkow onto his lap.

Luongo's left leg was trapped underneath him in the collision while he was bent backwards. He was down for a long time, enough to get back-up netminder Curtis Sanford stretching on the ice with his mask on, but eventually rose to his feet.

"Once I got up and moved around, obviously there was a little discomfort, but I was able to move it around and my body was still warm," said Luongo, who finished with 26 saves. "I knew I would have been able to finish the period.

"It's gonna be important to see the next 24 hours and how it reacts."

His teammates weren't surprised to see Luongo stick in there.

"Louie wants to play every minute of every game. It was no surprise he stayed in," said defenceman Mattias Ohlund. "You never want to see anybody get injured, let alone your best player. He looked well when he came back."

Not that there weren't some tense moments.

"There's one thing with Louie, if he stays down he doesn't embellish anything," Vigneault stated. "He doesn't try to draw penalties. If he's down, it's because something's there. "Obviously we were a little concerned but pleased to know it was nothing serious and he was able to continue the game and help us win."


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