Bob Boughner on Roberto Luongo’s injury, Panthers’ current situation in net

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Florida Panthers coach Bob Boughner discusses team's goalie situation with Roberto Luongo out for 2-4 weeks with a knee injury.

[WHOOSH] - He's got a-- I think it's a grade one MC, so he's going to be out two to four weeks.

REPORTER: And confident in Ryan's [INAUDIBLE] obviously it's given that he's carried this load before, last season.

- Yeah. He's been here before, which is good. He's been in this position. I liked his game the other night. He came in cold in the middle of a pretty intense game and made some nice saves for us. So Hutch had a good weekend, or a good game down in Springfield, and he's got NHL experience, as well. So it's good depth here. No one wants to be without their number one guy, but we're back here again and we've got to deal with it just like we did last year.

REPORTER: When you hear two to four weeks, even though it's not a good sign, is it still a sigh of relief at the same time that it's not worse than that?

- Yeah, for sure. It could have been worse. And it was a freak accident. It wasn't like he stretched out and pulled it or twisted it that way. Someone fell on him. And that happens during the game. It's just an awkward way that the body fell on him. So the good news is, it's nothing that could affect his training in the summer or anything like that. It's just it was a freak accident.

REPORTER: Like you said, he puts the work in. And he's really worked hard to stay healthy. Are his spirits a little down now after this?

- Yeah, he looks bummed out today, naturally. I would be too. I think he's worked hard and had a great summer. And he looked the other night, comfortable in there. And yeah, it's unfortunate. Now he's got to get to some rehab and get back to practicing again, and get his composure and his game back. So he's dealt with it many times before. So I'm not worried about that, just we need to play some good games here, a good stretch of hockey while he's not going to be with us.

REPORTER: So just to reiterate, no surgery. It's just an MCL strain?

- No. Just an MCL grade one.

REPORTER: Yeah, that's obviously great news. But as a 39-year-old, you really don't want going under the knife for any reason.

- No. No. No. And again, he was bummed out today. I talked to him a little bit. And it would have been different it was something that he could have prevented, or a torn muscle or something like that. It was just unfortunate. But we'll get by. I think know defensively we were pretty solid the other night. We're working on it every day. And we've got to be good in our end no matter who is in net, and we've got to protect the other two guys, too, Reimes and Hutch.

REPORTER: How do you-- on the Hutch Reimer deal. Reimer I assume goes opening night. Thursday--

- Yeah. Reimer's going to go Thursday. And we're just going to play, see how the game goes, and then see how he feels, how much work he gets. But there is no set plan in stone where the one guy is going to play in certain games. We have looked. We had that conversation this morning about fast forwarding a week or two from now, and we talked about the cames. But it's going to be a game to game, week to week thing.

REPORTER: And Reimer is the starter, I assume. So if he gets hot, he's the guy for now, and--

- Yeah, we've just got to monitor his rest and make sure that he gets the proper rest time on the off days and everything else, just like we would any starting goalie. Yeah. But he's our guy. And Hutch is going to have to support him, and give him a break as well.

REPORTER: And Derek MacKenzie?

- Yeah. From the other night, obviously he's having a maintenance day. It's an upper body injury. It's nothing too serious, but it's going to be doubtful for Thursday, hopeful for Saturday.


- Sorry, repeat that?

REPORTER: Does [INAUDIBLE] slide over in some of that fourth line if Max is out?

- Yeah, we're making some decisions now. We're going to talk about personnel after practice here and if we need to call up somebody and figure out-- I don't want to screw around the lines too much, because I like the McCann line and the Malgi line. Malgi can play center, as we know. But I really liked that line the other night. So we're going to have to come up with-- get our thoughts together here, and get a solution to what we do for Thursday.

REPORTER: You have a young center down in Springfield, from what we remember.

- Yeah. Yeah. So that's a conversation we're going to have to have. What's the right thing to do, right? And want to make sure that we can have four lines that can roll. Columbus as a good team, as you know, and they got a lot of team speed. And they're off to a pretty good start. So we've got to make sure that our four lines are all chugging along.

REPORTER: And Haley was out today?

- Yeah. We'll have more of an update in the next couple of days on Hales.

REPORTER: Related to the groin, or--

- Just we'll announce it in a couple of days.

REPORTER: And then on the defensive side, Weegs and Bogdan, any chance they get back [INAUDIBLE]

- Weegs is probably doubtful-- sorry, [INAUDIBLE] is doubtful for Thursday, so we have to make the decision if we're going to go with the same D or not, and we'll see on Saturday. I'm not sure yet.

REPORTER: Going back to Bogdan, you mentioned about the defense the other night, whatever, you had to be pretty impressed going back and seeing some of the video. Yet it didn't limit you from getting the scoring chances on the offensive side. That's be pretty encouraging.

- Yeah, it is. And we are collapsing a little harder, as we talked about. We only gave up two chances out of D-zone coverage. We do a four on the rush, and then obviously special teams and things played into it. So that's a stat for us. And we averaged about 4.03 in D-zone time. Last year that number was over six. So there's some good things happening. And that allows us, like you said, to be a little more efficient on our exits, which helps us on our rush game as well.