On Sunday night, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault shocked the hockey world when he made the last-minute announcement that backup goaltender Cory Schneider would be starting game six in place of Roberto Luongo despite a previous announcement to the contrary. The move was hailed by some and criticized heavily by others.
Schneider played a strong game when he was in the net, but he directly caused two goals against with his puckhandling outside of it. Then, after being beaten by Chicago forward Michael Frolik on a penalty shot, he suffered a leg cramp and had to leave the game, forcing the netminding duties to revert back to Roberto Luongo. Luongo would summarily give up the game-winning goal to Ben Smith in overtime.
There was a time when Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider were a Net-minding tandem on par with the apostles James and John. Times have changed. These days, neither of them has been quite able to give the Canucks a fourth win and end this series. As a result, we now anticipate tomorrow night’s game seven tomorrow. But who starts? Alain Vigneault has already declared Roberto Luongo his guy, but he’s not as reliable a source as he once was.
A case could be made for both. A case could be made for neither. Come with us as we examine these cases in a brand new feature we like to call This Guy or This Guy:
Roberto Luongo finished the year with a 2.11 GAA. Cory Schneider only managed a lousy 2.13.
Cory Schneider finished the season with a .929 SV%. Luongo could only muster a pitiful .928.
Roberto Luongo has played badly enough to force Cory Schneider into relief duty twice in this series. You’d have thought he was pulling Schneider’s leg.
Starting Schneider might not make much of a difference, anyway, since he takes so many cues from Luongo. Here’s an example: after two games of having his leg pulled by Luongo, Schneider pulled his own leg.
Roberto Luongo has been Alain Vigneault’s go-to guy all season.
So has Aaron Rome.
Roberto Luongo has an Olympic gold medal.
So does Curtis Joseph.
Roberto Luongo has won 20 playoff games, some of them against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Roberto Luongo has lost 20 playoff games, most of them against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Cory Schneider has never won a playoff game.
Cory Schneider has also never lost a playoff game, and he even started one.
Cory Schneider has never played an NHL game seven.
Neither has Corey Crawford. It’s possible that Inexperience + The name Cory = Game 7 success. We’d hate to miss out on that.
Roberto Luongo has not surrendered a goal to Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews in this series.
Other Blackhawks may shoot the puck.
Roberto Luongo isn’t the best puckhandler in the world.
On Sunday, Cory Schneider made him look like he was.
Cory Schneider has red hair, so it’s possible Dave Bolland will confuse him for Henrik or Daniel Sedin and interfere with him.
Cory Schneider has red hair, so it’s possible the officials will confuse him for Henrik or Daniel Sedin and let Dave Bolland interfere with him.
At the end of overtime, Roberto Luongo ended up flat on his belly.
So did the serpent in the book of Genesis, but he still got the job done.
Roberto Luongo was recently nominated for the Vezina, so he has to be good.
Think of what a luxury it is to have a Vezina nominee as the backup.
Roberto Luongo is paid to start games like these.
So is Cristobal Huet.
Vince Vaughn and Roberto Luongo are the same height and have similar haircuts. Can we run the risk of Vaughn kidnapping Luongo then impersonating him, as he did for games 4 and 5?
Cory Schneider has red hair. So did Judas Iscariot, according to Catholic tradition. It’s possible that Schneider made those two puckhandling errors on purpose. Can we run the risk of having a traitor in our midst?
If Roberto Luongo doesn’t get the start, he might ask to be traded.
Tags: controversial decisions
, net-minding tandems
, this guy or this guy