Traffic jam at net creates red-light district for Luongo

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:23 PM ET

Roberto Luongo has received a rough ride in Calgary so far this season.

The Vancouver Canucks netminder has played five periods at the Saddledome against the Flames and been victimized for nine goals on 41 shots. (A paltry .780 save percentage for those keeping track.)

Those numbers exist because of the tough treatment he's been given by the Flames. In Friday's 5-3 Flames win over the Canucks, Calgary fired five pucks past Luongo -- all but one because of heavy traffic and screens in front of the netminder.

Like most Calgary commuters, Luongo must have hated being stuck in traffic on snow and ice this week.

"That's a must," said Flames head coach Brent Sutter. "You have to play that way. It doesn't matter who your opponent is, you've got to be involved. We put more pucks towards the net, I'd still like to see more, but we did a lot of good things in the offensive zone."

The first step was creating havoc at the opposing net, which the Flames didn't do the previous few outings.

It was their goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff, who had to endure the bumping.

Finally, the Flames made sure their opposing netminder was just as uncomfortable, and annoyed.

"You have a goaltender like Luongo, you have to get in his crease and get in the way so he can't come out and play his game," said Curtis Glencross, whose backside was all Luongo could see when Dion Phaneuf's long slapper hit the twine to make it a 3-0 game.

"I'm not going to take it end-to-end and score," added Eric Nystrom. "So I have to make sure that I'm around the net to bang some empty netters in."

As important as the chaos was the fact the Flames were firing pucks at the net.

Essentially, they only attacked through the first two periods but managed 24 shots on goal, along with 17 which were blocked and 15 others missed the net or hit the post.


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