Florida Panthers Goalie Coach Robb Tallas Dresses, Almost Plays vs. Leafs (Video)
If we’re talking about a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers this late in the season, you just know that something crazy must have went down.
That’s exactly what happened during Tuesday night’s meeting between the two teams in Sunrise, Florida, as the Panthers were forced to dress their goalie coach, Robb Tallas, at one point after both of their goalies had been injured. And had it not been for the courageous efforts of Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya, Tallas would have played, too!
Allow me to explain.
It all started in the first period, when Panthers starting goaltender Roberto Luongo was struck in the side of the head by a Leo Komarov wrist shot:
Luongo stayed in the game for the remainder of the first period, but didn’t make it out for the second.
Enter Panthers back-up goaltender Al Montoya, but his luck wasn’t any better than Luongo’s, as he too was injured after allowing a goal early in the third period:
After a lengthy delay, during which the Panthers contemplated putting forward Derek Mackenzie between the pipes, Montoya decided to try and battle through the injury for the remaining 19:38 of the game. But with their back-up goalie noticeably struggling and their starting goalie already in street clothes, the Panthers searched for other options.
One of those options was Panthers goalie coach Robb Tallas, whose last NHL appearance came back in 2001 as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. After checking with the officials to see if the move was legal, Tallas made his way to the dressing room to put his goaltending gear on in case he was needed:
At one point, it appeared as though Tallas would actually get some playing time with Montoya in obvious pain. But Luongo came to their rescue just in time, as he strapped his equipment back on and re-entered the game with less than 10 minutes remaining:
After all of that, the Panthers would still go on to lose the game, 3-2, leaving them two points back of the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. But we did end up learning a valuable lesson from this: coaches are eligible to be used as emergency goalies.
I really hope this ends up happening to the Colorado Avalanche sometime soon. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Patrick Roy back between the pipes?