If Cory Schneider isn’t getting traded, the Canucks had better be planning to use him

On Thursday, I discussed what Cory Schneider’s recent usage in big games didn’t mean. Now I want to investigate what it does mean. Here’s the thing: while Schneider’s starts in Boston and versus Chicago weren’t indicative that the Canucks trust him in big games more than Roberto Luongo, they were indicative that the Canucks trust him in big games, and that’s still a big deal.

In fact, if these so-called “important starts” mean anything, it’s that the team is preparing Cory to receive more of them. Don’t believe Jack “Don’t stat me your stats” Edwards — Cory’s not the official playoff starter. But he may be more than the official playoff backup.

At the beginning of the Edwards interview, Greg Wyshynski (who is a quality boss, by the by) posits the theory that the Canucks are planning to go to a two-goalie system in the playoffs.

This is worth a beard stroke. Many teams have used two or three different guys on the way to a Stanley Cup, but in most cases, their hands were forced by inconsistent play from their number one. Very few enter the postseason intending to share the workload between two netminders — the Canucks certainly didn’t last year. However, I’m beginning to wonder if this is what coaching and management are planning.

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Is Cory Schneider the new number one? Jack Edwards sure seems to think so

I worked in retail for five years, so I speak from experience (and deep emotional scarring) when I say that Boxing Day is the worst. It’s not just the long and frenzied day, either — it’s the day before, when the dread begins to settle in. Basically, if you have to work Boxing Day, Christmas is ruined because everything after lunch is mental preparation for tomorrow’s rumble.

I thought of this when Alain Vigneault announced that Cory Schneider was getting the start versus the Chicago Blackhawks, explaining that the decision was made before the All-Star break because Roberto Luongo, unlike Schneider, has a family. Some people scoffed, but it made sense to me. In effect, Luongo was able to enjoy his full vacation because he didn’t have to begin the mental prepwork before he left. As a Boxing Day survivor, this made sense to me, and as a Canuck fan that has witnessed Luongo burn out emotionally, it made even more sense to ensure his restful family time was as restful as possible.

Still, many read Vigneault’s decision very differently.

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Hodgson seems happy with his icetime; who isn’t?

Cody Hodgson is quietly putting together a very successful rookie campaign. The 21-year-old centre has appeared in all 39 games for the Canucks, putting up 20 points, primarily from the third line. His addition has allowed the Canucks’ to ice three scoring lines, while making the second powerplay unit legitimately dangerous for the first time since Ryan Kesler was promoted to play alongside the Sedins.

The talk about Hodgson, however, hasn’t been his point production; it’s been his ice time. Hodgson is averaging just 12-and-a-half minutes per night, which has a number of Canucks fans upset, thinking that Alain Vigneault is mismanaging the talents of the 10th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

In fact, the only person who doesn’t seem to have a problem with Hodgson’s ice time is Hodgson himself.

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If there’s any silver lining to Ryan Kesler’s injury (which may very well have cost the Canucks the Stanley Cup, so there really isn’t), it’s that an opportunity–a genuine opportunity–will finally be afforded to Cody Hodgson.

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Ryan Kesler’s wingers are polar opposites. It’s like a sitcom on ice. Early in Sunday’s game versus the Calgary Flames, Canucks’ winger Mikael Samuelsson turned the puck over in his own zone, allowing Flames’ center Michael Backlund to walk in, uncontested, and score the game’s first goal. It was painful. For this ill-timed and completely [...]

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A Little Motivation For Cody Hodgson

By now, you’ve probably heard the news that the Canucks made a minor roster adjustment this morning, sending Evan Oberg back down to the Moose and calling up Cody Hodgson in his place. For Canuck fans, it’s good news all across the board, as Oberg’s reassignment means that Dan Hamhuis will jump back into the [...]

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When considering the development of NHL players, we often overlook the influence of environment. Consider Todd Bertuzzi, who developed a penchant for selfish play and an aversion to backchecking under Marc Crawford in Vancouver, nearly falling out of the league because he’s couldn’t divest himself of these habits afterwards. Thankfully, Bertuzzi landed in Detroit, and [...]

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