VANCOUVER – The drive to compete and win still burns inside Robert Luongo because if it didn’t, he said Tuesday, he wouldn’t be here.

That fire is significant. That fire has brought Luongo back, two months before his 39th birthday, from a groin injury serious enough that it had the potential to end the goalie’s National Hockey League career when he crumpled during a Dec. 4 game against the New York Islanders.

He had been through the same injury before, of course. But that was when he was 28, not 38, and Luongo conceded after practising with the Florida Panthers for a possible return to the lineup Wednesday against the Canucks that those 10 years make a difference.

Time always does.

“Of course, it’s easier to bounce back (when you’re younger) and you don’t think about things as much as you do when you’re 38,” Luongo told reporters. “When you’re a bit older, you think about different scenarios in your mind. At the time of the injury, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to play out.

“I don’t know if it’s because I’m realizing it’s towards the end, (but) I want to enjoy it as much as I can …read more



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