If you opted to tune out hockey during the NHL lockout, it’s possible that you missed one of the strangest collectors’ purchases in recent memory. At an auction of over 100 items from the historic Maple Leafs Gardens, diehard fan and Toronto Lawyer Jim Vigmond somehow managed to justify bidding $5,300 for the old building’s toilet.
Some people said that this was a stupid purchase. Vigmond didn’t entirely disagree. ”They’ve got a point,” he said. “But … it’s a part of an icon. I just thought … what a rare piece and just think of all of the people that have spent time contemplating in that dressing room what lies ahead of them.”
Indeed. Just think of all the famous Maple Leafs that have used that toilet to poop. Now Vigmond owns was is, arguably, the most notable toilet in Toronto Maple Leafs’ history. Sure, he spent over $5000 on a toilet, but as toilets go, he bought the best one a Leafs fan could buy.
I bring all of this up because on Friday night, with the Canucks in Anaheim visiting the Ducks, Roberto Luongo saw fit to remind us of the most notable toilet in the history of the Vancouver Canucks when he tweeted the following, with a note saying, “And this is where the magic happened……” (as well as some yucky hashtags):
Yes. It’s a picture of a toilet.
But any Canucks fan worth his salt knows that this isn’t just any toilet. It’s the toilet. You’re looking at the toilet in the visitors’ dressing room of the Honda Center, the site of one of Roberto Luongo’s most embarrassing moments.
The year was 2007. It was Luongo’s first season in Vancouver, and it had been a particularly special one. He staked a mediocre Canucks team to the postseason with Vezina-calibre goaltending, then, in his first ever postseason appearance, Luongo led Vancouver past Dallas in a first-round series, somehow helping them to overcome 3 shutouts by Marty Turco.
However, the Canucks were no match for the eventual Stanley Cup champion Ducks in round 2, and by Game 5, they were already on the brink of elimination. But Luongo wasn’t about to go sitting down (pun intended). He let only one puck past him through 60 minutes, then 80 minutes, as the game went into double overtime.
That’s when it happened. When the second overtime began, backup Dany Sabourin took to the crease, as Roberto Luongo didn’t emerge from the Canucks’ dressing room. What followed was a tense first five minutes, as the Ducks saw an opportunity to end the series against a leser backstop and peppered Sabourin with shots. Fortunately, he managed to shut the door until Luongo returned, and at the next stoppage in play, the two traded places.
So what happened? Initially, we were led to believe it was some sort of equipment issue, but later we learned the malfunctioning equipment wasn’t on Roberto Luongo, it was in him. From the Vancouver Sun:
The Canuck goalie had spent the intermission resting at his dressing room stall and it wasn’t until he stood up and prepared to head to the ice with his teammates for the start of overtime that Luongo realized that he had to go. Now.
“It was not an equipment problem, so let’s just leave it at that,” said Luongo, who was understandably reluctant to discuss the matter on Sunday. “It was an illness and nothing serious.”
Luongo’s nerves had gotten the best of him in his first tour of playoff duty, and trapped him to the water-closet for an intense session of number-twoing.
In Luongo’s defence, he’s not the only Canuck goaltender whose body malfunctioned under the pressure of playoff hockey. Cory Schneider recently admitted that his cramp in Game 6 of the Canucks’ 2011 series with the Chicago Blackhawks was due to anxiety. But it’s one thing to cramp up. It’s another to start pooping uncontrollably.
But while an understandably embarrassed Luongo was reluctant to discuss the matter back then, time has softened his approach to the infamous incident, much like nerves softened his stool on that fateful night.
Best closing sentence ever.