Last off-season, many Florida Panthers fans were concerned goalie Roberto Luongo wouldn’t be able to start the year due to hip surgery. However, Luongo started the year. In result, he suffered more injuries and the 38-year-old is no longer a starting goalie in the NHL.
Roberto Luongo has had a phenomenal career. Sadly, it will likely end due to a hip injury and not a Stanley Cup. The 38-year-old played a career-low (not counting the lockout 2012-13 year) 40 games last year after playing 62 games in 2015-16. Roberto missed the final six weeks of the season with a core injury which is near the hip. If Luongo’s hip and core are giving him problems, it’s clearly bad news.
In regards to the core issues, many people are confused when talking about the core of your body. Down below is a clear definition.
"Your core is a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond your abs, including everything besides your arms and legs. It is incorporated in almost every movement of the human body."
If Luongo is having trouble with his core, it means he is having trouble shifting his abs, stomach, chest, hips, ribs and other important body muscles. Notice how I included hips in that list? If he is having core issues, it is a general term for something closer and I would bet it is related to his hips. Goalies take a lot of pucks to the torso and their hips are constantly in motion to make saves. Goalies often are injured because of stretching their core area out to make saves.
Roberto is also 38 years old. He is the oldest goalie in the league. He is declining (sadly). His save percentage dropped from .922 to .915. Based on his age and other factors, if he plays next year his average percentage will probably land around .910. James Reimer had a save percentage of .920 last year and while it took him a while to play well consistently, when Reimer played on a consistent basis he seemed to do better. Also, I would note that James got more of the heavy load last year. Reimer had 25 games against teams that made the playoffs compared to Luongo’s 17.
Roberto had a good run, but I’m afraid his time as a #1 goalie in the NHL is over.