It may sound odd, but with Roberto Luongo and his Twitter personality on the team, odd seems like the right thing for the Florida Panthers. The team started using white pucks at practice as a way to help their humour-riddled goaltender and his back up – James Reimer – work on their focus in net, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald.
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) September 15, 2016
It’s not the first time this tactic has been used to help goaltenders work on their skills, and it certainly won’t be the last.
Luongo – who may still start the season on injured reserve – is in his second full season of his Florida homecoming. He was also a member of the Panthers from 2000 to 2006. Last season, Luongo played 62 games for the Panthers recording a 35-19-6 record with a 2.35 goals against average and .922 save percentage to go along with four shutouts.
While the Panthers didn’t have any playoff success, getting beat in the first round by the Islanders, Luongo did put up impressive numbers over the six game series. He finished with a 2.05 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
His new backup of the upcoming season – Reimer – will be entering his seventh NHL season and his first with Florida. Last season he split time between the Maple Leafs and Sharks playing in 40 games and notching a combined record of 17-14-7 with a 2.30 goals against average and a .922 save percentage with three shutouts.
While it seems that neither of these two exactly need to the focus training, it certainly can’t hurt the Panthers’ duo who will be looking to help their club back to the NHL playoffs in 2016-17.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.