Cory Schneider’s first year as a full-fledged member of the Vancouver Canucks was a successful one. More than simply being a serviceable backup, Schneider matched the statistics of Roberto Luongo, giving the Canucks Vezina-quality netminding all through the season. The pair combined to allow the fewest goals against in the league, adding a Jennings Trophy to a long list of NHL awards won by Canuck players. It was impressive, especially because, prior to Schneider’s arrival in town, Canuck fans were used to spotty netminding from Luongo’s backup. It was also impressive because Schneider did it all while being habitually attacked by a shark.
The shark’s first appearance came during an October game versus the Chicago Blackhawks. Canucks’ coach Alain Vigneault accused Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville of hiring the shark to give his team a competitive edge, but Quenneville denied the accusations. Mike Murphy was assigned to look into it, but he couldn’t even find evidence that a bite had occurred.
Eventually, it became clear that the shark was acting on his own after he showed up again in Ohio during a game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. No one quite knew what to do about it, except for Aaron Rome, who bravely hacked at the shark with his hockey stick until it let go.
The shark made dozens of other appearances during the season. Here it is, emerging out of nowhere to grab ahold of Schneider’s glove while he reaches across the crease to make a save on a 2-on-1. Schneider would make the glove save, but the play was ruled a goal when his severed hand slid across the line. Luckily, Canuck doctors, who were asked to look into appendage reattachment after Ryan Kesler threatened to cut off his own finger in 2007, were able to put it back on.
Over time, Schneider became somewhat used to the shark’s continued appearances. Here he is, resigned to yet another sneak attack while he sits on the bench. Meanwhile, the fans marvel at the fact that the shark leapt from the rafters. How it got up there remains a mystery to this day.
The shark’s vendetta against Schneider made his job increasingly difficult, but the Canucks’ backup proved his mettle time and time again. Here he is, making a fabulous sprawling save while the shark gnaws on his abdomen. How this didn’t make SportsCentre is beyond me.Tags: Canucks, Cory Schneider, featured, photoshop, really stupid ideas, schneider and the shark