Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo says he regrets questioning Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas' goaltending style following Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals.
The comments sparked a media circus and also seemed to serve as motivation for the Bruins, who would chase Luongo from the net in Game 6 with three goals on eight shots in a 5-2 win and then score four on him in the series-clinching 4-0 Game 7 win.
"If I could do it again, I wouldn't say it," Luongo said in a recent interview with Radio-Canada.ca. "I didn't want to create the buzz that it did. After the fifth game, I had never been so emotional and I got carried away."
Thomas had come out of the crease to play the shooter on the game-winning goal in the Canucks' 1-0 overtime Game 5 win that put them up 3-2 in the series. He made the initial save on Kevin Bieksa but then was beat by Maxim Lapierre on the rebound. Luongo questioned Thomas' positioning on the play.
"It's not hard (to stop) if you're playing in the paint," he said at the time. "It's an easy save for me, but if you're wandering out, that's going to happen."
He then tried to explain those comments a day later but just ended up adding fuel to the fire by implying Thomas hadn't been complimenting him enough.
"I said also that he might make some saves that I don't, so I was just saying on that particular play I would have played it different and that's the difference between me and him," Luongo said.
"I've been pumping his tires ever since the series started and I haven't heard one nice thing he had to say about me, so that's the way it is," he said.
Thomas later quipped prior to Game 6 that he was unaware he was supposed to praise Luongo.
"I guess I didn't realize it was my job to pump his tires," Thomas said with a grin. "I guess I have to apologize for that. I still think I'm the goaltender on the union side and I stick with all the other goalies. In being one and knowing what it takes to perform at this level and with this amount of pressure, I understand to a certain extent what every other goaltender is going through."
James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.