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Roberto Luongo's Inbox

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
At the beginning of the 2008.09 season GM Mike Gillis and head coach Alain Vigneault recognized goaltender Roberto Luongo for his dedication and leadership by appointing him team captain. The Montreal native settled into his new role and began an impressive season, setting a new shutout streak, posting five shutouts, and being selected to the NHL Western Conference All-Star team.

Luongo was sidelined for 24 games with a groin injury, but has returned to pick up where he left off, establishing a 5-2-3 record since returning. The superstar netminder took a break from his busy schedule to answer the questions that fans want to know.

What was it like playing in the All-Star Game in your hometown? (Matt, Port Moody, BC)

It was great, I mean it was a great weekend, just the fact that I was able to play in front of my family and friends. It is such a great city, a historic city, it was a great feeling.

There was between 25 and 30 [friends and family] that came to the game and I really enjoyed it except for the cold weather.

Editor's note: This is the third consecutive year that Luongo has been named to the Western Conference All-Star team while playing with the Canucks.

What is your favourite thing about playing in Vancouver? (Evan, North Vancouver, BC)

I just think it’s a great hockey city. The city loves the team and there is so much hype around it that it makes it exciting to be a part of a team like this.

What is the greatest achievement in your career to date? (George, Madison, Wisconsin)

I think probably winning back-to-back World Championships with Team Canada in 2003 and 2004.

Editor's note: At the 2003 IIHF Men's World  Hockey Championships, Luongo was backup to Sean Burke who went down with a groin injury in the semi-final game against the Czechs. Team Canada rallied to advance to the finals with an 8-4 victory. Luongo backstopped the Canadians to a 3-2 gold medal victory over Sweden, their first medal at the World Championship since 1997.

The following year in Prague, Czech Republic, Team Canada with Luongo in net defeated Sweden 5-3 to win gold, recording back-to-back titles for the first time since 1958-59.

Who did you admire when you were growing up? (Anna, Montreal, QC)

My idol was Grant Fuhr, just because of his great gloves saves.

What was your reaction to the honour of being named captain? (Paul, Cranbrook, BC)

It really caught me off-guard and by surprise, but at the same time I was very flattered. I really embraced it right away. I didn’t really hesitate to accept it.

Editors note: Luongo became the 12th captain in Canucks history. He is supported in his role by assistant captains Mattias Ohlund, Willie Mitchell, and Ryan Kesler. Luongo joins an esteemed group who have previously worn the 'C' for the Canucks including, Orland Kurtenback, Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, Mark Messier, and Markus Naslund.

What would be your advice for a beginner goaltender? (Jaspal, Vancouver, BC)

If goaltending is a position that you love, work hard and work at your technique every day. If you have the skills and talent to stop the puck the rest will come.

What is your favourite activity to keep in shape during the off-season? (Kathy, Williams Lake, BC)

Well I work out with a personal trainer every day, so we go through a couple hours workout. I wouldn’t say there’s anything favourite about it, but it’s just something that we have to do as professional athletes to make sure that we’re well conditioned.

How do you deal with the pressures of work and being a new dad? (Skylar, Vancouver, BC)

I think it is two different things. I mean it’s always nice to be able to come home and see your little one and put a smile on your face even if you had a bad day a work sometimes.

Have you ever scored a goal? (Jonah, Vancouver, BC)

No. Well, I did when I was young and a forward, but since I’ve become a goaltender I haven’t.

Where is your favourite place to play on the road? (Erin, Kamloops, BC)

There’s a few. I think Montreal obviously is one of them because it’s my hometown. If I think on the West Coast maybe a place like Dallas, which is always good games and a good rivalry and the crowd really gets into it.

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