One lingering concern about keeping Cory Schneider

With the news that Roberto Luongo has reportedly requested a trade — he’s even willing to waive his no-trade clause for it! – it seems that we have already been given an answer as to which of the Canucks’ two very good goaltenders will be traded this offseason. But I have to admit that I do have one big concern about keeping Cory Schneider rather than Luongo. The issue is fairly simple: there have been a lot of young goaltenders in the NHL that have experienced tremendous success in their first full season in the league, then faltered badly afterwards.

(Graig Abel, Getty Images)

There are a couple big names recently that fall into that category: Andrew Raycroft won the Calder trophy as rookie of the year in 2004 for the Boston Bruins after posting a .926 save percentage and a 2.05 goals against average. After that stellar first season, he didn’t post a save percentage about .900 until he was a backup in Vancouver in 2009-10. He is currently playing for the Texas Stars of the AHL, though he did play 10 games in Dallas this season.

Steve Mason also won the Calder in his rookie year and was nominated for the Vezina, as he helped lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first ever playoff berth with a .916 SV% and a 2.29 GAA. His next two seasons, his save percentage dropped to .901 and the Blue Jackets finished last in the NHL this season.

Vesa Toskala posted a stellar .930 SV% and a 2.06 GAA as a backup in San Jose in the 2003-04 season. A couple years later, he was the punch line to every joke about the Maple Leafs.

In the 90s, there was Jim Carey. In Carey’s sophomore season, his first as a number one goaltender, he won the Vezina trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender with a .906 SV% and a 2.26 GAA. A little over a year later, he was in the AHL. A couple years after that and he had retired from professional hockey.

There are a lot of one-hit wonders in the goaltending fraternity. At one point, Steve Penney was the next Ken Dryden. Blaine Lacher was a rookie sensation for the Bruins, then plummeted out of sight the next year. I wish I could be certain that Cory Schneider won’t join their ranks. I’m confident and optimistic that he won’t collapse in the same way and there are many positive indicators that he won’t do so, but I can’t be certain.

There are, of course, many goaltenders who had fantastic seasons as rookies or sophomores and went on to have excellent careers. Take Roberto Luongo, for instance. In his first season as a full-time starter, he posted a .920 SV% and 2.44 GAA with the Florida Panthers. In his next 10 NHL seasons, he didn’t falter from that early promise, never posting a save percentage lower than .913 and never once having his goals against average reach 3.00.

This past season, in fact, his numbers are nearly identical to that first year with the panthers: .919 SV% and a 2.41 GAA. While Luongo sometimes struggles with his consistency from game-to-game, from season-to-season he was the model of consistency. Keeping Luongo rather than Schneider is the safe, conservative option.

There is risk in keeping Schneider, who still has only 76 NHL games under his belt, but the potential reward is huge.

(Andrew D. Bernstein, Getty Images)

Schneider, to put it simply, was better than Luongo this year, posting an incredible .937 SV% and a 1.96 GAA, finishing second and third, respectively, in those two categories among eligible goaltenders. In his three games in the playoffs, he performed even better than expected, allowing just one goal in regulation in each game.

Those are absolutely superb numbers and it’s completely understandable that the Canucks would want to hang on to Schneider and trade Luongo. If Schneider can continue to perform at this level consistently, he won’t just be a great goaltender; he’ll be among the best goaltenders in the league.

But I just can’t shake this nagging concern that he might falter once he gets a number one job, just like other promising young goaltenders.

My theory (though it’s not unique) for why this occurs has to do with the “book” on a goaltender. NHL players and coaches meticulously prepare for each game, studying film and breaking down their opponent. For a team’s number one goaltender, you scout his weaknesses, so you know what to target.

For instance, the book on Luongo might be to try to beat him high over the shoulder early, then, if successful, go for the five-hole, hoping he’ll stay on his feet a fraction of a second longer to compensate for the puck beating him high earlier. If you can do that, you’ll get in his head. That seemed to be the gameplan of the Bruins in last year’s Stanley Cup Final. If you can’t beat him early, however, he’ll settle in and shut you down.

That’s simplified, but it’s an example of how teams and shooters will think in terms of targeting a goalie’s weaknesses. On Pekka Rinne, you don’t shoot glove side, because he’ll swallow everything up. On Tim Thomas, you want to shoot low on the pads so he’ll give up rebounds. On Marc-Andre Fleury, you want to sort of direct your shot vaguely towards the net.

When it comes to rookies and backups, there’s a lot less material to scout and it’s more difficult to develop a book on a particular goaltender. Take a look at the Washington Capitals in the playoffs right now, who just beat the defending champian Boston Bruins with 22-year-old rookie Braden Holtby in net. In the first round, he had a .940 SV% with a 2.00 GAA. The Bruins just couldn’t figure out how to consistently score in that series. They didn’t have a book on Holtby.

They couldn’t even make him flinch.

Second time around, however, coaches and players start to figure a goaltender out. Really, this goes for any player in any position. In a recent “30 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman shared a conversation with Keith Yandle:

Remember talking a year ago with Keith Yandle. He pointed out that you don’t really realize how hard the NHL is until a good coach game-plans against you in a playoff series.

This, more than anything else, is the cause of the dreaded sophomore slump.

Is there a book on Cory Schneider? Do teams have a gameplan for targeting the weak areas of his game? Not yet. But they will. For Roberto Luongo, it doesn’t matter that other teams have a book on him: he continues to put up solid numbers year after year after year.

Will Schneider be able to do the same? I sincerely hope so.

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86 comments

  1. VanFan85
    April 27, 2012

    I still stand by the fact that trading Luongo is a mistake. They tell the guy they want him as their franchise goalie, sign him to a lifetime contract, and swear to him that he is their guy. The plan was always to develop Schnieder and when the time is right (now) they cash in the chips. Bring up Eddie Lack and start his development process. In 4 years exercise the opt-out clause on Luongo’s contact or Luongo retires and make Lack the starter, that has always been the plan.

    Most Canuck fans and even the media have jumped on the Schnieder bandwagon. This is a goalie who has started only 76 games and won 38 and he has won only 1 of 8 playoff games he has played. I firmly believe that if the Canucks want to win a cup, Luongo is still their best chance to get it done. Luongo is one of the biggest reasons the Canucks have been successful and is one of the backbone pieces of the team. If the Canucks trade Luongo, the bad karma of treading in their ever-reliable honda for the shiny new sports car will prevent them from winning a cup for a long time; it will be the biggest mistake in franchise history.

    Cash in the chips on Schnieder, use him to get whatever pieces they need to maintain the competitiveness and future of the franchise and let Luongo finish what he started with the dignity and respect he deserves.

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    • sarah
      April 27, 2012

      Great comment. I think the plan was unfortunately frustrated when Cory turned out to be such an awesome character [both as a goal tender/teammate/media presence/defender of the rights of the red-headed etc]. I like to think that this whole debate stems from Cory being such a find rather than any lingering dislike/animosity whatever towards Lu [I'm probably wrong though...sigh].

      I do think Lu got a tough break in Vancouver [A lot, I imagine, have, and will continue to, judge him more for his lows than his highs].

      Whatever happens it will be interesting.

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      • VanFan85
        April 27, 2012

        Every goalie in Vancouver except for Kirk McLean has been judged on their lows instead of their highs. Schnieder is still viewed by the media as the darling savior because he has yet to struggle for a prolonged stretch. Schnieder has been solid when he has been called upon but what happens next season or two seasons from now when the team in front of him struggles and loses 4 of 5 games, do you think Cam Cole will give 2 bits he has been amazing all season long? He will get the exact same treatment as Luongo gets when the bounces aren’t going our way.

        The bottom line is Luongo, year-over-year, has been one of the most consistant goaltenders in the NHL. There is a book on him, but at least we know what we are going to get on a consistant basis. He is a vertern goalie who has won 339 regular season games and has won 32 playoff games in only 5 playoff appearances. He is an should be our franchise goaltender. I would have more faith in him getting it done in the playoffs than Schnieder who has yet to really prove himself .

        Switching up a proven vetern goaltender for a young up-and-coming-star is a move that is done by a team that is in the process of re-building, not a move done by a team that is expected to win a Stanley Cup – and that reason alone is why I believe trading Luongo is/could be the biggest mistake in franchise history.

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        • J21 (@Jyrki21)
          April 27, 2012

          All fanbases do what you’re describing, and it doesn’t just apply to goaltenders, because they have a silly mentality than everything and anything is about the Cup — in a league where 29 of 30 teams cannot win it. The “second place is the first loser” mentality is another one of those sports maxims where, if anyone actually applied it to real life, would be too dumb to live. (CEO of the second-best company on earth? Man, that sucks\)

          So unless a player wins a Cup — and again, most don’t — fans always focus on their failings. Look at the treatment that Markus Näslund receives on message boards (choker, bad leader, never got the team anywhere). Look how everyone wants to fire the most successful coach the team has ever had, just because the Canucks can’t win the Cup (winning 15/16 games also makes them “losers”, of course. Or in Internet speak, “loosers”). Look at the Sedins — for all their mastery, they get dumped on constantly by the Vancouver fanbase, and told we’ll “never win a Cup with them”, even though the team almost did… even when they weren’t performing all that well. Every player seems to be treated as a negative at some point or another. (And sports is very much a “negative” thing, again because fans see 96.7% of competitors as “sucking”).

          Schneider will take his fair share of lumps, and they’ll be just as unfair as Luongo’s. Doesn’t mean, however, that he hasn’t eclipsed Luongo or isn’t a smart option.

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          Rating: +26 (from 26 votes)
          • VanFan85
            April 27, 2012

            Isn’t the “second place is the first loser” mentality the exact reason why a lot of people are calling for Luongo to be traded? “We will never win a cup with that choker in net” Even though he has gotten us through to at least the 2nd round of the playoffs in 4 of the 5 times we have made it too the dance, and took us all the way to game 7 with 2 shutouts in the SCF. The exact mentality you speak of is the exact reason why everybody is so quick to jump on the trade Luongo bandwagon. And that mentality is the exact reason why I am saying we need to keep him. Moving out a piece of our core of veterns is not the answer to our problems. I like our chances – of not just winning a cup – but of continued and consistant success with a proven vetern goalie in the prime of his career a lot more than I like our chances with an un-proven, but potentially fantastic, young goalie.

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            • J21 (@Jyrki21)
              April 27, 2012

              No argument from me that Luongo is good enough to get it done. The issue here is that Schneider appears to as good, or better now, with the chance to be even better in the future. Luongo is not, as I’ve explained, not actually “being run out of town”, where fans just want to get rid of him. He has just — arguably, but it is not a weak one — been surpassed on the depth chart in a position where there is only one starter on the roster. Honestly, it’s no more personal than that.

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              • bergberg
                April 27, 2012

                But my issue with this argument is, as you say, Schnieder *appears* to be as good, where as Loungo *is* good. Why are people so willing to take such a gamble, when it’s not really necessary.

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    • bergberg
      April 27, 2012

      I completely agree. It is starting to seem to me that only Canuck’s fans (and the media, of course) seem to think trading Loungo is a good idea for the Canuck’s organization. Do we really want to be more of a mockery to the rest of the NHL? Yes, we still have a couple holes in our roster than need to be plugged. But by no means do we need to be shipping core players out of town. Here’s hoping that GMMG can block out all this craziness and make the rational decision.

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    • J21 (@Jyrki21)
      April 27, 2012

      Sarah, you’re not wrong. Schneider’s emergence as, well, awesome, is exactly why “the plan” had to be changed. VanFan — you have never changed directions when new information came to light? Decided not to keep driving to the theatre once you heard the show was sold out?

      Obviously it was never even contemplated that Schneider would unseat Luongo as a starter. From the day Nonis pulled the trigger on the Luongo-Bertuzzi deal, Schneider became nothing more than a bargaining chip for the Canucks. But then, sometimes things change. Pretty much the backbone for every movie script.

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      • VanFan85
        April 27, 2012

        So you are syaing you have more faith in Schnieder winning a cup for Vancouver than Luongo? Lets look at Schnieder for what he relly is – a young, talented goaltender, with impecable positioning, and a great personality. yet he still lack experience. He has only played 8 NHL playoff games and he has only won 1 of them. He has played only 76 regular season games and only once played more than 2 or 3 in a row. We have no idea ho whe is going ot handle the everyday grind of a full regualr season and the intense media and fanbase glare during a not just a typical Stanley Cup Playoffs but Playoffs where his team is expected to win a Stanley cup. Switching up a proven vetern goalie for a young-up-and-coming potential star is a move for a team that is going through a re-build, not the move of a team that is expected to win a Stanley Cup. Cash in the chips on the kid and bring in the pieces that we need to win a Stanley Cup and let our vetern players get the job done.

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        • APCanucks7
          April 27, 2012

          @VanFan85- I will start this by saying I am a Lu fan and I think he treatment here has been more than unfair. But I have to say if you are going to use stats, then be fair with them. Multiple times you have brought up the fact that Cory ‘has played in 8 NHL playoff games and only won 1 of them.’ How is that accurate when half of those games he came in after Lu got shelled and was pulled? He has had four starts and has gone 1-2. His first start last year was game 6 against the Hawks, which was tied and he got hurt. Lu came in and played well, but we lost in OT. This year Cory outplayed Quick in his 3 starts and went 1-2. How many goals did the Canucks score his his 2 losses? 1 total. Which the same argument Lu fans gave in the finals, you can’t win if your team doesn’t score. The fact is Cory has played well, although to be fair in a much smaller sample than Lu. He has also taken the AHL team to the finals, so he has proved he can win in the playoffs. I think if Vancouver needs a goalie for the future it should be Cory over Lack. The NHL is a business above anything else, Cory is cheaper, younger and while Lu has played very well the last two seasons, Cory has been great. It is simply his time.

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          • VanFan85
            April 27, 2012

            You are right, the stats I was using were misleading, however your point adds further weight to my argument that Schnieder is relatively un-proven. When push comes to shove he has appeared in 8 playoff games, he has started 4 playoff games and he has only won 1 of them. We are talking about replacing a vetern goaltender with 339 regular season wins and 32 playoff wins in only 5 stanley cup tournaments with a goalie who has won 38 regular season games and only 1 playoff game. The expectation in Vancouver is a Sranley Cup, looking at the 2 goalies which one would you put more faith in? Replacing a proven vetern goalie with a young and up and coming POTENTIALLY better but completely unproven and inexperienced goalie smacks of desperation and is usually a transition which is done by teams which are re-building not teams that are expected to win a cup. Trading a vetern piece of the core and a cornerstone of the franchise will not solve the problem of scoring goals in the playoffs. Schnieder will garner a greater return of assets for the Canucks so use him to get the pieces they need and let this core of vetern players get the job done.

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            • APCanucks7
              April 27, 2012

              I understand the sentiment about Lu’s experience overall. But again you are playing the numbers in Lu’s favour. He is 32-29 overall in the playoffs. Meaning he has lost almost as many as he has won. In fact if you take out last year’s run, he has a losing record in the playoffs. Also, don’t forget he had never played in the playoffs before coming here. So Cory has a lot more experience than Lu did at the same time in his career. Also you keep saying Cory has more value, yet you undervalue his experience in favour of keeping Lu. So then if you see a flaw, how can you honestly expect a better return for his potential, rather than Lu’s proven track record? You can’t have it both ways. If his potential value is so great, we should keep him no? As far as who makes me comfortable, I would say as someone who has watched the Canucks for a long time and someone who plays, Cory makes me feel more comfortable. Even though we were down 0-3, I never at any point felt Cory would let in a soft one. Which I do feel when Lu plays. Even though I know Lu tends to lock it down after, being down one goal to someone like Quick, would be a huge hill to climb. I never played at the level these guys do, but I know how much your game changes if you feel like your goalie might let you down. If I am already having trouble believing I can score on someone like Quick, I can imagine how deflating that might be. Lu for all his pluses, also has that track record going for him too.

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    • Kenji
      April 27, 2012

      Very thoughtful and compassionate comment. Nice to see some mildly contrarian opinions here vs. the knee-jerk “Get Luongo Out” sentiment.

      However, there is a such a thing as a stale-by date. While goalies can perform well into their 40s, that’s not a given. My concern with Luongo is that he is physically off peak. He played a s-ton of hockey for the Panthers before coming to Vancouver, like, Grant Furh-type crazy shot totals. That might have a prematurely aging effect. And, I don’t think he has been as consistent since his major groin tear. Obviously he is fit enough to play well, but the mileage is starting to tell. So, while The Plan might have been (and perhaps still is) to sell off Cory (whc would surely net far greater returns), it is argubly more prudent to keep the more elastic, less damaged goalie.

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      • hockeyispretty
        April 27, 2012

        Voted this up by mistake – sorry, but I was aiming for the other one. I don’t think high shot totals in previous games would have a prematurely aging effect. And Canucks fans do feel anxious about Luongo’s consistency, but his numbers put him as one of the most consistent guys in the league.

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        • Brent
          April 27, 2012

          I think the problem is his occasional “blow up” (I think that is what Thomas Drance called them, games where he lets in more than three goals on a fairly low shot total). For some reason people remember those far and above all the shutouts and stellar play. Sad really.

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          • hockeyispretty
            April 27, 2012

            True – like after that game in the finals last year when we lost 8-1 to the Bruins. “They should have pulled Luongo after he let the 4th one in!” Um, aside from the many defensive failings that were partly responsible for the goals – maybe it’s better to lose 4-1, but I just don’t see how.

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      April 27, 2012

      You talk about the long term plan, keeping your commitment to Luongo, etc. But let’s not forget, it’s not like Schneider just parachuted in out of nowhere. The Canucks drafted Cory in the first round in 2004, years before they even acquired Luongo. Now that the patience has paid off, seems a bit of a shame not to reap the benefits. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really all-in on trading Lu either. But I also think the team should try to be fair to Schneids too. Perhaps that could mean trading him, but he’s not chopped liver.

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  2. Geoff-C-
    April 27, 2012

    So far the only thing I can see written in the book on Cory Schneider is that the Canucks seem to compete harder when he is in net then they do when Luongo is in net. If we keep Cory and lose Roberto I hope that they keep that compete level up and play just as hard in front of Schneider as a #1 as they did when he was a #2.

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 27, 2012

      I’ve heard the “compete harder” argument before. I think it can be down to the fact that when AV puts him in, it’s often an attempt to change the team’s momentum even if Lu has already been playing well. So, then the momentum changes. It isn’t necessarily inherent to his personality, but to the switch-up.

      I’m a little perplexed that people seem to be factoring in personality here. Luongo is known to be a good guy with a good character, and personally I think it’s hilarious, the faces that guy makes during interviews. For fans to prefer the goalie they think has a more winning personality in interview is like for girl fans to prefer a player for having a handsome face. (Except girls get laughed at & are then not “real” fans.)

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    • KieranG
      April 27, 2012

      Didn’t the Canucks get lambased for their compete level in Game 1, 2, 3 & 5. Who was in net for those games? They both were.

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      • hockeyispretty
        April 27, 2012

        True. I forgot to say: “also, I don’t think the compete level being higher in front of Cory is actually true!” More and yet more confirmation bias.

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    • NucksFan
      April 28, 2012

      Take note of how many Canucks are around/in front of/ blocking the net (and hence the goalie) when Lu is in net. Then take a look at where they are when Schneids is there. Lu=we play defensively, Schneider=we play offensively. Not sure if it’s AV’s coaching or just the team’s concern, but they sure seem to feel the need to help too much when they’re depending on Lu. Many goals he’s let in were due to the fact that he was being screened, not only by opposing players but by our own. Schneids is left to his own defenses more often, and can actually see the where the puck is. Lu might have a slightly lower save percentage than Schneider this season, but that’s not completely his fault. Both are still amazing goalies, and it’s true that there simply is no room for two starting goalies. Unfortunately, it’s all about the numbers and Lu’s are lower, no matter how good he is or who’s fault it is. But boy, can that guy make a glove save!

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  3. John in Marpole
    April 27, 2012

    Although there is no doubt that increased exposure to a goaltender (or any other player for that matter) enables a team to try and target a weakness, if it was really effective all goaltenders would be less successful after their rookie season.

    To take that further, the longer a goaltender played, the bigger the book and the more goals he would yield. I know that is simplifying things, but that is how the math works, I think.

    In fact it seems it does work that way sometimes, but only for goaltenders with a static style of play. Raycroft plays basically the same style today as he did in his rookie season. Carey and Penny did as well. By way of comparison, think of Dominik Hasek. Nobody ever really figured him out his whole career. He had some success as I recall.

    Schneider isn’t Hasek, but he looks to have the tools and natural athletic ability that is needed to be able to vary his technique, to keep the shooters guessing. Sure, there will be some bad games, no goaltender makes it through a season without that happening, but the up-side of keeping him vastly out-weighs the risk in my opinion.

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  4. TheWellwoods
    April 27, 2012

    As a self-professed “streaky” goalie, I can tell you that playing goal is a mental challenge as much as a physical one. The list of goalies you give you had great rookie seasons only to fall off the map didn’t just forget how to play goal one day. They got mentally worn down. And it’s true that the same thing could potentially happen to Schneider.

    But I don’t think it will, and here’s why: Schneider is aware that it’s a mental game, and he knows the importance of mental preparation. Every warmup he takes time to go through his basic save motions and visualize. He has messages written on the insides of his gloves to keep him focused. He’s even-keeled, personable, hard working, and very smart.

    Plus he’s a redhead, so, you know, no pesky soul to cause emotions.

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    • sarah
      April 27, 2012

      Yah, it’s probably my academic bias showing, but one thing that’s really impressed me about Cory is how intelligent he seems and the sense I get that he’s committed to learning. In his After Hours he mentioned that he went back to school to finish his degree which I thought was really commendable. And as a fellow word-game nerd, I like that in the “Behind the Lens” series on CDC they’ll often be pictures of him working through his Sudoku/Crossword.

      Probably doesn’t make him a better goalie, but still impressive.

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      • Kenji
        April 27, 2012

        On HNIC there was a little clip of him juggling, which reminded me of Paul Kariya, who was one of the more lucid advocates of process and methodology in skill development.

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    • John in Marpole
      April 29, 2012

      I too am a bit of a streaky goaltender. It took me about 40 years of being that way to finally put an end to it – for the most part – by putting more effort into mental prep like visualization than I used to when I was more concerned with physical prep like stretching and napping.

      As anyone who has played the position knows, you’re at yopur best whn you are completwely on auto-pilot and that is a focus thing.

      The examples I cited (and I negligently forgot to list Roy with Hasek, my bad) didn’t forget how to play, but they were, IMO, too formulaic in their style, which combined with mental fatigue, made their weaknesses easier for shooters to exploit. Hasek & Roy relied more on reflex, reaction and athletic ability than on style. That’s what made them harder to score on than the average NHL goaler.

      You are spot on about Schneider’s mental coolness. That and his technical skills will serve him well as a top-notch starter for the Canucks for the next 8 to 10 years.

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  5. Cody
    April 27, 2012

    They just talked about this on the team 1040 too. The guest talked about the weaknesses holtby has and how much more difficult life will be for him once teams figure it out. Always a challenge for a goaltender to change their style to eliminate, or minimize weakness, but Lou was able to do it. Let’s hope Frecklesnoot is up to the challenge.

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    • Mt
      April 27, 2012

      This is exactly why the ‘too soon to have a book on said goalie thing’ is somewhat overstated. Guys on Team1040 think they know Holtby’s weaknesses and teams will figure it out eventually. As if the Team has better scouting than NHL teams. It’s not like it’s the first time the guy has played in front of cameras. There are hundreds of hours of tape on any goalie that makes the NHL. His AHL weaknesses aren’t going to disappear vs. better shooters.

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  6. Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
    April 27, 2012

    This is why I really wanted a year of 50/50 Lu and Schneids to give the Canucks a cushion in case Schneider does fall victim to a sophomore slump. I know his technical proficiency helps, but I still don’t love the risk.

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  7. J21 (@Jyrki21)
    April 27, 2012

    Point is completely fair — and any amount of logic says Schneider’s numbers will decline next year, because (1) he’ll be playing more games and that will affect his health; (2) his current pace has got to be unsustainable; and (3) the ‘book’ effect indeed.

    But the reason why I can’t see a pure Mason or Lacher effect (there was a name I hadn’t thought of in a while!) is because those guys sort of came out of nowhere. Lacher was an undrafted college player, Mason wasn’t particularly dominant in junior (from what I can tell), Jim Carey was taken #32 overall but I don’t remember much buzz about him before his callup, Raycroft was a 5th rounder who didn’t have very pretty junior numbers, Toskala never dominated the AHL and actually had more than one good season while he was with San Jose (albeit never as a starter).

    Schneider was spotted early as a talent, being drafted in the first round out of high school (very un-Moneyball, by the way, and something I suggest the Canucks never do again, especially with a goalie), and then at each step up, after a short adjustment period, he began to dominate. He tore apart the NCAA, then hit a bit of a bump in the AHL. Then he started dominating the AHL. Then he looked overwhelmed at the start of his NHL career. But then we’ve seen what he’s capable of there too.

    The Canucks have been very patient with him, and it has paid dividends, as it has allowed him to gain his confidence at each level and get that much better. He has established a pattern of both (overall) steady and (with each jump) sudden improvement. If he was just some guy who stole the hearts and minds of fans by being memorable like Patrick Lalime’s first callup (he of the 3.86 AHL GAA the year before his debut) then I agree it’s a massive risk. But thus far Schneider’s career has played out, well, kind of exactly like what Dave Nonis was hoping when he drafted him in 2004. Everything has followed a really clear upward curve, and a high-pedigree draft pick has moved to a top prospect to a solid backup to a top NHL goalkeeper (and there’s still plenty of room for improvement, like with puckhandling and rebounds).

    In essence, the Canucks have finally — finally! — properly developed a star goalie prospect. We, as Canuck fans, have never seen anything like this before. Ever. So we have no idea what it looks like.

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    • nee
      April 27, 2012

      Nice post…I wasn’t really aware of Cory’s progression at the lower levels.

      Sounds like he’s very good at adapting.

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    • tom selleck's moustache
      April 27, 2012

      I was thinking the exact same thing as I was reading the article. Schneider’s slow, yet steady, progression to where he is now is the one of the main reasons why I don’t think he’ll be a flash in the pan like the other goalies.

      Love the Holtby/Peverley gif btw. The look of Holtby just watching Peverley skate away (I’m picturing a look of bemusement under that mask) after, unsuccessfully, trying to psyche out the goalie is priceless.

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      • John in Marpole
        April 29, 2012

        I keep thinking about what the Bruins reaction would have been had a Capital made the same threatening gesture at Thomas.

        The Cap would have been dog-piled, and the players, fans and press would have pilloried him for being a coward for his deadly attack on the poor defenseless goalie.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      April 28, 2012

      This is a very good point. Schneider’s progression has been slow and steady, unlike the flash-in-the-pan goalies that I mentioned. That’s why I’m optimistic he’ll do just fine as a number one goaltender next year, whether here or elsewhere. It’s still something I’m concerned about though, so I thought I’d inflict my anxieties on the rest of the Canucks fanbase.

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  8. rvtBC
    April 27, 2012

    Yes, Vancouver fans better be careful what they wish for. There’s no denying that Schneider has tantalizing skill but the question is whether that shines through throughout his career.

    It’s for that reason that I’ve always been amazed and disappointed in how quick the “fans” turn on Luongo and constantly complain about him and nit-pick the goals he lets in in any particular game (shoot-outs aside!). Luongo’s been so consistent as the #1 against top teams since he’s been here. How quick Vancouver fans are to forget what pre-Luongo was like; to have one of the top calibre goalies in the NHL in our net after what we’ve suffered through in the past, you’d think the fans would have been more willing to overlook the bad goal and game here and there.

    All this handwringing might be too late and for naught though if Luongo has, indeed, concluded that his time in Vancouver has come to an end.

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    • VanFan85
      April 27, 2012

      “All this handwringing might be too late and for naught though if Luongo has, indeed, concluded that his time in Vancouver has come to an end.”

      What has Luongo done that makes you think, or anybody else think, he has decided that his time in Vancouver is done? He said he would waive his NTC if the team asked him too. He said he is a team-first guy and he wouldnt stand in the teams way. No where at no time has he ever directly said that he wants out of Vancouver. The media and the fans took that statement and blew it out of the water and read way too far into it. It was an honest answer to a reporters question, and thats all it was.

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      • rvtBC
        April 27, 2012

        … yes, exactly, which is why I said “IF Lungo has, indeed, concluded …”. In other words, we don’t know that he has.

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  9. Innovation
    April 27, 2012

    I disagree with ‘book’ effect. If there was a book effect, why do some goalies not get worse? Why is Henrik Lundqvist elite? Rinne? Quick? Elliot? Smith? Its not like you can say there aren’t ‘books’ on all of these guys and yet they are the best 5 goalies in the league.

    It comes down to 2 things, team and talent. It’s not like Schneider is being dropped off on some expansion team with no scoring or defense. Vancouver has a good team. They play good team defense and score goals. He’s AT LEAST good enough to keep Vancouver in the game.

    At worst, there could be an adjustment period. Even then, you said he took a period of time to get used to the NCAA, and AHL. What’s to say he can’t do it again given his track record of being able to do so in the past?

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    • CanuckJeet
      April 29, 2012

      I’ll agree with Rinne and Lundqvist since they’ve played consistently for a while but the others? Too early to judge since they’ve only displayed dominance behind extraordinarily defensive teams. This is the same Elliot from Ottawa no? I’d be careful about judging goalies simply from a single season’s or Playoff series’ stats. We don’t know whether a goalie is elite until they’ve adjusted their game to the adjustments made against them by coaches and players. Or alternatively, played in a variety of systems (defensive, offensive, transitional, etc.) In this regard, Luongo qualifies and Cory is promising, yet unproven.

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  10. JDM
    April 27, 2012

    One of the best PITB analysis articles written in recent memory; I agree completely with everything you said. Add Semyon Varlamov to the list of “the book got out on him” young goaltenders; he was unbeatable in his first playoff series, but by the second, they’d learned how to put pucks past his shoulders, and that was that. One playoff series is a pretty quick turnaround. It’ll be interesting to see if something similar happens with Braden Holtby.

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  11. Snubby
    April 27, 2012

    Canucks need to score some frikken goals. All this blather about which netminder they keep is irrelevant.

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  12. peanutflower
    April 27, 2012

    But all of this is basically about GMMG bowing to the pressure from media and fans to switch goalies, right? Does anyone thing he would really do that? Who knows what’s going on with Luongo, anyway.? If he requests a trade he’s clearly mentally done with Vancouver and the Canucks have no choice. They can hardly make him stay. What are they going to do, pay him more money? Make a public announcement plea to the fans and media to be nice to him? I agree with posters above that the examples in the column of falling stars I’m not sure really apply to Cory. How many of them had the backup time that Cory did? I’m too lazy to go and look at the records, but there must be something to be said for the amount of “practice” time Schneider has had riding the bench and getting his X starts per season. How many other rookies had that opportunity?

    I would love Luongo to stay. I agree with VanFan above that he’s been one of the linchpins in getting the Canucks to where they are now, and most everyone has totally forgotten that. Oh, the thankless job of being a goaltender. It’s a sucky job. I worry about him going to Toronto, say, because it’s even worse there. Just ask Raycroft.

    I worry too about the Canucks putting their faith in such an untried goalie. That’s a pretty big jump from 25 games to 70 games and then playoffs. A huge difference.

    But, given GMMG’s past history this could be all a big smokescreen in the end. It should be pretty interesting to see what happens, no?

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    • Amor de Cosmos
      April 27, 2012

      Framing this as an either/or proposition is, or at least should be, an erroneous way of looking at the issue. This isn’t about two goalkeepers it’s about three or four. Daniel’s right, Schneider [i]might[/i] not pan out as a starter. But one could also say Luongo [i]might[/i] do a di Pietro and unluckily spend the rest of his career in the treatment room should he pick up an injury. I’m guessing MG is factoring the other goalies in the Canucks organisation, both of whom show real promise. If Schneider doesn’t work out, Lack is only a year or so behind in age and development. Gillis has said the team has to get younger. Hanging on to Luongo doesn’t allow them to do that. It’s not the emotional choice for a lot of us but the club has depth at the goaltender position right now, they have to maximise its potential.

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      • Amor de Cosmos
        April 27, 2012

        HTML doesn’t seem to work, how do you do italics around here?

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        • J21 (@Jyrki21)
          April 27, 2012

          Amor de Cosmos — use rather than [BBEdit tags] and you’re golden.

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          • J21 (@Jyrki21)
            April 27, 2012

            Argh, there are supposed to be (less than) and (greater than) showing up around the words “real HTML”.

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      • bergberg
        April 27, 2012

        I disagree that hanging on to Loungo doesn’t allow them to do that. Goaltending is only one position on the team. Don’t forget about the returns that we will get for either goaltender. If MG is looking for rookies, sophomores, or prospects, he can ask for them. Plus we have Lack, who I think we can agree would be the obvious choice for backup goalie in the case one of ours current roster holders is moved, who is also young up and comer.

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        • Amor de Cosmos
          April 27, 2012

          If Lou doesn’t leave now this discussion merely moves on a couple of years. It might be easier if Eddie L turns out to be less effective and charismatic than Schneider but Lou will certainly be less marketable then than he is now. Yes you can sell on your prospects but that’s not the model the organisation is attempting to follow. Schneider is two years older than Lack, who is four years older than Honzik (if he ever gets to this level.) Each will have to prove himself against the senior guy, as Schneider has done. If they don’t make it, so be it, but if they never get to try then you’ve wasted the time and energy your scouts and coaches have put in over several years.

          I’m not one of those who wants to throw Luongo under the bus. If he sticks around I’ll be happy, and should he end up shaking Stanley’s hand for us I’ll be ecstatic. But I don’t think there’s a better than right now to say thanks for everything Big Guy, see you around.

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  13. cathylu
    April 27, 2012

    I really like both of our goalies so these discussions about which one is leaving are pretty painful. It’s gotta be tough for Lu to deal with all the media and fan discontent. But I agree with Snubby – the goalies didn’t knock us out of the first round, the lack of goal scoring did.

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    • Know Name
      April 27, 2012

      Luongo is being shipped elsewhere by the same fans and media who loved him so dearly , and loved the contract that short time ago………..the fans and media in Vancouver are the reason the Canucks will never ewn a cup.

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  14. Go Canucks Go!
    April 27, 2012

    I think the best thing to do is re-sign Schneider to a three year deal and then trade the Goalie you can get the most for. Improve the defense (Weber?) or ad a sniper (Nash?). It does not make any sense to trade for the future, the future is now and getting someone who will make you win today is the objective. If you want Weber then you have to get rid of Luongo, if you want Nash then Schneider is gone with Tanev and possibly Kassian. Since this is all talk, why don’t we get rid of both and pick up Nash and Weber and then go after Tim Thomas (Small 1 year contract for 2 million) and bring up Lack for grooming? Stay positive vancouver..don’t forget if you subtract Salo and Phalsson we are the 4th youngets team in the NHL…..

    Go Canucks Go!

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  15. bobsanchez
    April 27, 2012

    Finally somebody to address this issue in an intellectual manner.
    The other issue which I feel is still underappreciated by the trade Lu bandwagon is the cap benefit by trading Lu, or the lack thereof since Cory would be in line for a big payraise ($3-4mm/yr?), so the net benefit to the cap might end up being the equivalent of an Andrew Alberts. And I would think that the odds are greater that the Canucks will have to take back a bad contract by dealing Luongo than Cory

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  16. seapp
    April 27, 2012

    Show me the money. What does Schneider want? Schneider at 5M cap hit is different than Schneider at 3M cap hit. And really that’s maybe only a 2M cap hit savings from today. Could we get enough with a 2M extra to bolster our offence even if Schneider takes a step back? If Luongo and Schneider could coexist with 50/50 would 3M extra be better spent on goalkeeper for one more year or is there better bang for the buck at another position? Or are Schnieder and Luongo not able to make next year work at all? Does Gillis go to both of them and say are you ok if we are going to do 50/50 next year and if someone clearly dominates in the first half, we’re moving the second guy at the deadline if we can? Can Gillman make the money work for that?
    Also, are the “one-hit wonder” goalies comparable in terms of body of work. Granted it’s only 76 games, but it’s been a long development process with success at the AHL and an ever increasing understudy role at the NHL. Any chance Drance can do some numbers around std deviations and the possible range of likely regression for Schneider. He seems pretty prescient in that regard.

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    • J21 (@Jyrki21)
      April 27, 2012

      Cam Charron, who is as proficient with the numbers as Drance, had a piece at Nucks’ Army where he expressed that the Canucks are in very good hands with Schneider, as he is already historically good as far as this team’s history has gone.

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  17. RicardoB
    April 27, 2012

    Re: Carey, Mason, Toskala, and Raycroft. Unlike Schneider, none of those 4 had top-10 SV% and GAA over their first two seasons of at least 25 games each. I think there may be truth to this argument, but that evidence doesn’t support it.

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  18. WayneS
    April 27, 2012

    Using the goaltenders mentioned in the article and their failures after successful starts to their careers is fair, but misleading. For every Toskala there is a Rinne; for every Raycroft there is a Lundquist; for every Mason there is Quick.

    The challenge for all GM’s when their long-standing goaltenders shelf-life is nearing expiration, is to decide between a good (hopefully) young understudy or a ‘proven’ veteran that may or may not be made available via trade or free-agency.

    You are right to assume the younger goaltender may wet the bed under the scrutiny, or workload or whatever else might come up when the hot glare of the spotlight is beating down on them. Or, you may find another Patrick Roy, or Ken Dryden or any number of other good young goaltenders who evolve into franchise best players on their respective teams.

    The lesson in view is in the willingness to take some risk to gain the reward. As an ex-junior goalie from years gone by (to many….sigh), I can say that, from my humble perch as an interested fan and objective critic, Cory Schneider is the real deal. He is fundamentally sound (he will become a very good puck handler by the way), athletic, popular with his teammates and, very importantly, emotionally equipped to be very good for a very long time. Risk/Reward…take the risk with this kid.

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    • Micheal
      April 27, 2012

      What’s your take on Luongo?

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      • WayneS
        April 28, 2012

        I believe Luongo’s Achilles Heel is his ‘head,’ but more on that in a moment.

        He definitely has shortcomings in his technical game, and they generally are exposed during stretches when he loses focus, I think. When you compare the two on fundamentals, rarely (I know Schneider hasn’t had a long career resume) does Schneider technically deviate in form. Roberto will have stretches where pucks ‘seem’ to fall into the net, off his shoulder or back, from a shot directly originating from a very sharp angle, or even behind the net. That is really inexcusable for an NHL goalie, at least that it happen more than once or twice in a year. (remember Mike Richard’s goal in game one (i think) this year)

        Most frustrating for me however, is when he makes the first save, and is unable to control the rebound — which can happen to any goalie of course — he is not in the position to make the second save because he is on his back or stomach. He often will make the second save, and it will often be spectacular because he is out of position, which gives the false impression of a goaltender at the top of his game, when he really should have been square to the shooter and in control.

        The question of emotional and psychological make-up is a touchy one. Obviously know one really knows what happens in his head but him, and perhaps his goalie coach who can understand his nuances and be privy to his feelings and thoughts during the course of a season. From my experience, and what I see from outward manifestations of his physical behaviour and demeanor, is a guy who gets frustrated and angry at himself and/or teammates and/or situation/circumstances on occasion. Schneider’s response to a big save or a goal is relatively the same, consistently. Roberto’s slumping shoulders, staying prone on the ice (while fishing the puck out of the net), showing his disappointment/anger/frustration, is a tell for me. It doesn’t serve him or the team in any real way, even if some would describe it as a passion for winning or some other cliche.

        Having said all that, Roberto is still one of the top 10 goalies in the league. He has proven himself over time to be ‘consistent’ over the course of 82 games, as his stats prove. My concern is his consistency during the times that matter (playoffs), when the shortcomings I mentioned have consequences and a finality that leaves little, if any, room for redemption.

        Finally, I thought for may years, one of Roberto’s psychological strategies was to never take responsibility, with the press and publicly. It was something that was frustrating for me, and I’d say with others in the fan-base, and was another red flag for me in my perception of his wrong-headed view of keeping his head in the right place. This has changed over time and in the last couple of years has owned his role in defeat, when justified. I think he has matured in the last couple of years, become more humble and a better teammate. I think he’ll give some team another good 4-5 years, but I don’t think it will be the Canucks, though who knows? Someone may well give Gillis an offer for Schneider he can’t refuse, and if so, I’ll suck it up and cheer Roberto on as I have over the last 6 years!

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        • John in Marpole
          April 29, 2012

          Yup, great analysis. Something of note, I have yet to see anyone with direct goaltending experience express any doubts about Scheider’s ability to be a top grade starter. I’ll grant that I haven’t read every article/blog on the subject, so there may be some out there, but I sure have seen a lot of positive analysis.

          Schneider’s technical skills, his past success (yes, I know that wasn’t the NHL but by way of example we’ve been inundated with folks claiming Cody Hodgson as a ‘savior’ based upon his OHL accomplishments + 1 month of success in the NHL so Schneider’s 2 seasons of success in the AHL must carry some weight in this discussion) and his obvious mastery of the mental part of the position are why those in the know predict future success.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      April 28, 2012

      I readily admit that there are plenty of goaltenders who were good when they entered the league and continued to be good throughout their career and said as much in the post. Luongo is one of them. I’m definitely hopeful that Schneider will also be one of them and I think his mental toughness, intelligence, and work ethic will help ensure that he will be.

      I’m not so sure that he will become a good puck handler. He already has fine puck handling skills: the issue is his decision making with the puck. It’s possible that he’ll develop the ability to read the play and make better puck handling decisions, but it’s also possible that it’s just a part of the game he’ll never master.

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      • WayneS
        April 28, 2012

        You’re right in making the distinction between puck handling and decision making Daniel. He is a good puck handler, and in my view will improve making decisions with the puck as he plays more. He will become more familiar with his teammates tendencies — specifically the defencemen — while developing effective and consistent ways of communicating, when split-second decision need to be made. Your point is well taken though.

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      • John in Marpole
        April 29, 2012

        His main issue with puck handling is that he is naturally a right-hand shot, and learning to be proficient shooting left, using a goalie stick & gloves, is really quite a task. I know because I’m dealing with it myself.

        What can look like poor decsion making can often be more the result of having to think more about the physical mechanics than someone using their natural shot would need to do in the same circumstances.

        I know I find that I have to think about the position of my hands, and visualize more where I want the puck to go when I shoot left as compared to when I shoot right and it all comes natrual.

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  19. BBoone
    April 27, 2012

    Schneider has been a consistent standout at each and every level and has now demonstrated standout performance at the NHL level. Was that the case for the other goalies mentioned in the article ? I still think that making Luongo the captain was a huge mistake and simple proved what did not need to be proved , namely , that the goalie position is unique and is best served flying under the radar. That judgment error put Luongo under a unique spotlight with regards to unreasonable responsibility and , in my opinion, interfered with his ability to refocus after a goal. The ludicrous daily paparazzi style , albeit print, of the media in Vancouver exacerbated this situation. Luongo is a tremendous goalie, keeps in professional shape and he will flourish with this next team if they simply give him a chance to relax and be ” the goalie ” Does anyone remember when ” he’s the goalie ” excused loner style behaviour as being necessary to maintaining focus? Good goalies were either lauded or excused. It was the unwritten rule that they were never criticized in public. Roberto Luongo was mismanaged by the Canucks and , PITB excepted, harassed by an truly amateur media looking for cheap daily talking points trying to exploit almost any situation in a variety of ways rather than the mature and grounded reportage and insight of a professional journalistic core. Lets hope that the Canucks and the ” media” do better with Corey Schneider .

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    • WayneS
      April 28, 2012

      I heartily agree on most points BBoone, however trying to lay blame at the feet of the media, however rational it may seem, is simply naive. There job is to, in the vernacular of days past, is to ‘sell papers.’ Few have the skills nor wish to provide ‘fair and balanced’ coverage, to use the Fox TV News tagline….oh wait….

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      • BBoone
        April 29, 2012

        hi wayne . Good point and well taken . Perhaps I should have said that it is discouraging that there
        is so little professional integrity in being a sports journalist . I would like to think the market
        would prefer that, or if not that there is a different market that would, that would sell at least as many papers. It would be interesting to hear from the sports editors of the Sun and Province to tell us why they encourage the sort of reportage and how that squares with any sort of professional integrity.

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  20. Ando
    April 27, 2012

    After hearing Gillis admit that they were artificially (and deliberately) raising Hodgson’s value to trade him, it occurred to me that a strong case could be made that they did the same thing with Luongo this year. He was shielded from several (though certainly not all) tough starts this season, especially when the Canucks were playing in buildings where he had struggled most (Boston, Minnesota). His leash in the playoffs was so short he didn’t even have to play poorly to lose the starting job. After the finals last year trading him would have been impossible. It’s hard to imagine someone coming to the conclusion that he didn’t have too much baggage. Now he’s narrowing interested teams down to a short list. It seems like his image as a guy who struggles to overcome adversity when it matters most has been largely forgotten about. Just a thought.

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    • akidd
      April 28, 2012

      sounds vaguely familiar:) …showcasing lou while burning 10 mil, healing kesler(kinda), recovering from scf hangover…a pretty productive season actually.

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  21. Lenny
    April 27, 2012

    Can’t talk about Lu or Cory for now, cuz Braden Holtby is my new hero. That animated GIF is priceless.

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  22. Nick
    April 27, 2012

    There are risks associated with keeping either goalie. We all know what they are with Luongo. The consensus is that most organizations that need a goalie have mixed feelings about acquiring him because of his age, contract, and perceived decline.

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  23. dan
    April 27, 2012

    My research found that there is only ~ 20% chance Cory is an average goalie

    check i out here:
    http://www.nucksmisconduct.com/2012/3/29/2901641/lui-schneider

    expect Cory’s numbers to fall
    1) pk sve % will regress heavily
    if you don’t beleive this check out all-time save% leaders in career Cory #1 T. Rask #2

    2) save% fall the more a goalie plays (fatigue)
    3) scouting (as you pointed out)

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  24. Nick
    April 27, 2012

    If Schneider has the same sort of collapse next season as Raycroft and Carey, it will be shocking.

    He has been brought along slowly, has been groomed for success at every level, is cool and calm enough to be smoking a cigarette alongside Tanev while he’s playing, and he’s a more technically sound than Raycroft, Carey, or Toskala were.

    I’m far more worried about Kessler’s drop-off, Edler’s inconsistency, and the team’s collective goal-scoring amnesia than I am about Cory Schneider’s play suddenly going south.

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  25. Nick
    April 27, 2012

    I think you’re channeling a little Tony G today Daniel.

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  26. akidd
    April 27, 2012

    yesterday i mused that lou might be more valuable than schnieder to CERTAIN teams. i don’t really believe that but was more making a case that lou should fetch a nice return in a trade.

    i’ve watched almost all of schneider’s nhl games and my conclusion is that cory is rock-solid. his best tool may be his logo as that is where most of the pucks stop such is his positioning. his character from what i see on tv also seems rock-solid. and at 26, entering his 3rd year in the nhl i have yet to see anything remotely resembling regression in his game. a pretty sure bet indeed. if you can’t handle the amount of risk involved in signing schneider as your #1 then then you’re probably the type of person who tries not to cross the street unless they really have to.

    but for a gm whose team was on the bubble and had to please fans and ownership in a hurry perhaps you might start looking at lou pretty closely. has lou ever had a bad regular season? nope. that’s a pretty good stat. is lou a big name that fans could recognize? yup. could a gm make a case that the market, not the goalie was at fault, for lou’s playoff falters? probably not too hard to do (unless you’re burke but even there that town is barnum and bailey’s dream.) if a gm needs to make a splash to keep his job lou could do a hell of a cannonball. the premise of the salary cap was that gm’s just couldn’t help themselves. you could only give them one bowl of crunchies a day or they would gorge themselves into obesity and lie around on the heater all day.

    and lou’s contract is not that bad. and lou’s really good. there’s probably at least half a dozen serious suitors for lou’s services. let the bidding start at high first round pick plus. and anyone who even mentions the name ‘komisarek’ will be immediately disqualified from the proceedings.

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    • Lenny
      April 27, 2012

      Good read. I thought trading Lu to move up in the draft is quite feasible for both teams involved. The Leafs’ have the 5th selection. They might be interested in doing that.

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  27. Lucky
    April 27, 2012

    Great read, thanks for the insight!

    I prefer we keep Lu, but I love Schneider, too. Can’t we keep both pleeeeeeeease… sigh.

    I prefer the stress of playoff hockey than this!

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  28. warren
    April 27, 2012

    you do make good comments. i will disagree with your point there is no upside to Luongo. The guy moved away from his partner, he earned his stripes with the Canucks, contracted for Ten Years, was significant in the rising of the Canucks franchise, supported his understudy very well, was appointed Captain, had the Captaincy stripped, and continued to play well enough to be in the top echelon of goal tenders at the present time. The man cries when he loses – he wants to Win. He is only 33 years of age, and speaking as a male, at 33 a guy is just starting to get a glimmer of understanding how life works. Hockey is a game of heart. For all those fans that say the Canucks lack “heart”, why would you give up the poster guy for “heart”.

    Apologies for the ramble here – Luongo will be a name you hear in the game when he is 4O.

    Of course, that is only my opinion.

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  29. Sam
    April 27, 2012

    Trading Lou would also free up lots of cap space for Gillis to go after Suter or Parise.

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    • Lenny
      April 27, 2012

      Some cap space, not a whole lot. Schneider will sing for I’m guess 3.5M, so we are saving only around 1.8M per season, which isn’t a whole lot. Also, with young Schneider as our starter, we should sign a more reliable guy as a backup then if we have Lu as our starter.

      Keeping Lu is not as expensive as it seems and trading Lu is not as beneficial as you might hope.

      While the quantitative benefits of going with Schneider may not be as great as it first seem, I think this group needs a fresh start. Emotionally, this season seems to be a followup from last season. I don’t think the locker room ever got over losing in the SCF. Replacing Lu with Schneider would represent the end to an era. I also hope that there will be one more key change in our line up to just help the players get over last season finally.

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  30. tom selleck's moustache
    April 28, 2012

    I found another gif of the Holtby/Peverley incident, from another viewpoint, on a Capitals’ fan’s blog:

    http://i46.tinypic.com/1h40th.gif

    I think they’ve improved on it.

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    • Frank
      April 28, 2012

      Hahaha… so they DID!!!!

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  31. SG
    April 28, 2012

    The book on Schneider? Well, just from watching him a bit… Get him to play the puck. He’s a liability out of the net. He’s a stud in the crease – especially with the glove, but he’s got a tendency for stupid once he leaves to play the puck.

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  32. Micheal
    April 28, 2012

    Ok, time for me to play GM:

    If I were Mike Gillis, I would attempt to trade Cory and our 26th pick to Columbus for their second pick and Boone Jenner… and If we could sweeten the deal.. also Cody Goloubef. Goloubef is that coveted right handed shooter with offensive upside the canucks are looking for… Jenner is the prototypical checking forward with offensive upside, and a workhorse to boot (plus he’s great at faceoffs). He could slot in behind Hank and Kes possibly as early as next year.

    Now the interesting part…. We package the second pick up with one or two of our prospects… likely defenceman and trade it to Edmonton for the first overall pick.. bam… Yakupov.

    So in this scenario we pick up Jenner… possibly Goloubef and Yakupov to play on Kesler’s right.

    Or we trade the second overall to another team with a young player who could play with Kes.

    We could really improve this team by trading Schneids I think. Now and for into the future. Plus we wont be burning any bridges and generating any more bad karma this organization hardly needs by sending out the best goalie this franchise has ever had who has done everything he could for the fans of this team, on top of being a genuinely good guy who also gives back to the community.

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  33. MulderFoxy
    April 29, 2012

    No offense but would you gamble 1 million dollars of your own money and bet that a Schneider + Lack combo will help win the Stanley Cup, or would you bet on a Luongo + Schneider combo? We know if Luo has a bad day, Schneid’s will back Luo up, and vice versa. We have never seen Lack play and if he ends up NOT living up to his potential as the new “Schneider” back-up while Schneider plays Luo’s role, the Canucks will be in big trouble…see where I’m going with this?

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  34. Tired Canucks Fan
    April 30, 2012

    I do not agree.
    Did you guys even watch Schneider in the playoffs? All you have to do is watch this kid play and the decision is made.

    Cory is a #1 Goalie. The canucks play better in front of him.

    He stays big even in the butterfly. He leaves no room for shooters, even sliding across. Shoulders take up the corners unlike Roberto. Luongo needs a fresh start as well I bet.

    Luongo is a good backup goalie, if he accepts that postion. Yes unless Vancouver can get a fantastic player(s), we can keep Luongo. But no way is that guy getting us to the cup.

    Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Although we had a great season, we tried using the same team that got us to the finals this year. And it didn’t work. It’s funny people thinking it will work after so many seasons with the same guys.

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