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Roberto Luongo Interview before the Olympic Gold Medal Game

Roberto Luongo Olympics

"I'm less than 24 hours away and I'm just excited and getting ready to go."

What about the early start?

“It’s an early start so it’s a bit different, I’m going to get up early have a nice breakfast and pretty much head to the rink right away. Not much time to sit on it, so that’s a good thing. Get to the rink early and start preparing. Making sure, once the puck drops I’m ready to go.”

Will you see your wife?

“Not tomorrow morning for sure. Probably after. In a moment like this, it’s such a big opportunity you have to make sure your intentions are on the game and you’re fully focused.”

Have you thought about that last save Friday night on Pavol Demitra?

“Yeah, the fact that it’s Demo makes it so much better. I can’t wait to see him on Tuesday (laughing). It was great, it is for moments like that you play the game. When you’re a kid in the streets you play for moments like that. You try to imitate those moments and I’m happy something like that happened.

Why were you laughing with Demitra at the handshake?

“That’s the whole thing. I didn’t know it was him. That was my reaction when he told me he was the guy who shot that puck. I was kind of surprised and that’s why we started laughing there.”

What are your thoughts on facing a sizzling Ryan Miller?

“He’s playing great, but I’m not worried about Ryan Miller, I’m worried about their forwards and their D-men. That’s my job, to make sure I stop those guys. I can’t control the way Ryan plays. He’s been playing great. We got to make sure we do a good job on him tomorrow.”

What Challenges do the US team present?

“They play a North American style. They go north-south, they will throw some pucks and bodies at the net, point shots, screens and tips, all that kind of stuff, it’s NHL style hockey and obviously it’s something I’m used to.”

Do you understand the magnitude of this game in Canada?

“Right now, it’s like you are in a bubble. You don’t realize certain things. But for me personally, I’m excited to play. It’s a great game. It’s a lot of fun, it’s an unbelievable stage. This is what you work your whole career for.”

What did you think of Marty being the starter when this began?

“Like I said the first day I got here, I’m here to help the team the best way I can and that’s been my mindset all along.”

Are you shocked it’s you now?

“I didn’t expect anything coming in here, I just wanted contribute to the team. There’s always a possibility, you know in the past, I’ve been on Team Canada before and twice there have been injuries and I had to go in. So, you just have to stay ready and never know what can happen. At the end of the day, I had the right mindset coming in and hopefully after tomorrow it all works out.”

You’ve called this fun — have these tense moments always been that way?

“Those are the best moments. Those are what define goaltenders in a way. Being such a big stage–the Olympics at home in Vancouver–the whole setup is what made it so much fun.”

What’s it like stepping out on the ice to that sea of red sweaters?

“It’s fun. You come out on the ice and you see everyone screaming, wearing red. It gets the guys going even more. It’s fun to be part of something like that, in an experience we will probably never get to live again. So I’m just looking forward to tomorrow and the craziness of the building.”

photo thanks to BC Gov Photos

About The Author

Kevin Woodley

Kevin Woodley is a rec-league target and former contributing editor of the Goalie News magazine. He has written about the Vancouver Canucks and NHL for The Associated Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News for the last decade, and covered the 2010 Olympics for The AP.