Enjoying Cory Schneider’s success has been difficult this season

Alain Vigneault announced this morning what everyone already expected: Cory Schneider will start in the Canucks’ must-win game four in Los Angeles. While he faced fewer shots in Sunday’s game three than Roberto Luongo faced in games one or two, the fact remains that Schneider allowed just one goal, played solid, and deserves the chance to repeat his performance.

I’m thrilled for Schneider, who has had a phenomenal season, finishing second in the league in save percentage and third in goals against average, with a 20-8-1 record. He’s hard-working, has a great personality, and has been an exceptional teammate, so it’s great to see him rewarded. At least, it’s mostly great.

For the same reason that it’s been hard to enjoy his success this season, it’s hard to enjoy seeing him rewarded, because every success for Schneider has been treated like a failure for Luongo.

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The six best Ryan Kesler tumbleweed gifs

Ryan Kesler is hardly the only player to resort to embellishment in this year’s NHL playoffs. Every team has been accused of diving at least once, with two clubs even being penalized for it: the Pittsburgh Penguins, for a Kris Letang dive, and the Detroit Red Wings, for some Jiri Hudler acting. Furthermore, Brad Marchand’s performance in Game 3 versus the Washington Capitals was like an interactive museum exhibit on embellishment.

Still, Kesler’s dives have stood out. He may not be the worst diver, but he’s definitely the best. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find a dive as ostentatious as the one he pulled in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal, for instance, when he attempted to draw a penalty on Mike Richards by engaging the Kings’ forward skating backwards, then doing a full-on, flailing, stick-throwing barrel roll as the two exited the Canucks’ zone. It bordered on performance art.

And, like all good art, it inspired other artists — in this case, the .gif-makers over at the HF Boards. For the second straight year, Ryan Kesler has become a meme over there. It’s not quite Ryan Kesler Did This, but the Kesler tumbleweed meme is still pretty darn funny. What follows are 6 of my favourites examples.

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