Captain Canuck happy

Roberto Luongo makes a glove save against the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday. (Sun Media/Stuart...

Roberto Luongo makes a glove save against the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday. (Sun Media/Stuart Dryden)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

The surest sign Roberto Luongo is back to full form came at the morning skate yesterday.

During a routine drill, Vancouver Canucks defenceman Rob Davison sped in on goal, caught an edge and steamrolled over the star netminder.

Although Luongo went over backwards with both legs flying, he showed no ill effect of the groin injury that kept him out nearly two months.

"I think he was doing his impression of Jarome Iginla," Luongo said with a laugh when asked why his teammate crashed the crease. "I guess he's making sure I'm ready to handle it.

"It's a good sign for me ... I'm fine with it. I'm a big boy. I can handle it."

Shortly into last night's 4-3 shootout win over the Calgary Flames, Luongo proved again he could make the spectacular save again after missing 24 games.

With Flames forward Matthew Lombardi breaking into the zone, Luongo dove down and caught the puck with his elbow.

In the process he lost his stick, and when Lombardi got the puck back, the Canucks captain had to use his chest to knock down the shot.

Luongo was injured Nov. 22 at Pittsburgh and returned to action Jan. 15 as the Canucks were in the midst of a losing skid.

He couldn't stop it right away, although he managed to get them three overtime losses in five games.

When the calendar flipped to February, Luongo found his game, winning five straight before last night's visit to Calgary.

He's still not quite satisfied with his game.

"I'm not exactly where I want to be," Luongo said. "It's coming along. The last few games I'm feeling back close to 100%.

"Healthwise, I'm perfect. I have no issues whatsoever. Sometimes it's a matter of getting in a rhythm. The good thing is I have won five in a row but my game is still progressing."

Luongo has seemed to erase any thoughts he isn't the same player that's been in discussions to backstop Canada at next year's Olympics in Vancouver.

In the second period last night, Lombardi came in from the wing on a breakaway but Luongo calmly poke-checked the puck away from him.

On a powerplay minutes later, Dion Phaneuf had the top corner picked with one of his trademark slapshots, but Luongo flashed the glove.

Luongo said he just needed time to get back to where he wasn't letting in easy goals.

The same thing could be said of mid-season addition Mats Sundin, who had two goals in his first nine games but had four in the past six heading into last night.

But when Luongo came back and had a bad night, it was front and centre.

"When you come back from an injury, you will make mistakes but as a goalie, if you make a mistake, everybody sees it," Luongo said.

"When you play goal, the main thing is feeling comfortable and being able to make reads. It's nice to get back playing again, but it takes time."

Now the Canucks just have to make sure not to run him over during practices.


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