The never-ending goaltending saga has taken another turn for the Vancouver Canucks. In a not-so-shocking turn of events, Cory Schneider will get the call in the cage over Roberto Luongo in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks.
Schneider has been out for quite a bit here in the last couple of weeks with an undisclosed injury. Whatever is plaguing Schneider has actually been described as “body injury” at different points by Alain Vigneault. That injury must be healed up, since Schneider traveled with the team and will get the call as the Canucks try and win a game in this series.
Roberto Luongo hasn’t played poorly in either of the games for Vancouver in this series. The Canucks have lost both games, each of which were at home, but it’s nearly impossible to put both of those losses on him. He was terrific in Game 1 and didn’t get much in the way of offensive support in Game 2.
Nonetheless, he still took the brunt of the blame for each loss, simply because of the fact that he’s Roberto Luongo. Assuming Schneider is able to remain healthy for the rest of this series, it will be the second consecutive postseason in which Luongo played the first two games of the postseason before being replaced by his backup.
Of course, Schneider hasn’t been the backup this season. While the descriptions about the role of each goaltender have been vague at times, Schneider has played much of the 2013 campaign as the starter for the Canucks. He shook off a rough start to post some pretty excellent numbers this year, finishing with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. Those numbers include five shutouts, which is tied for the league lead.
It will be interesting to see if the addition of Schneider to the lineup will make a difference. The Canucks are certainly hoping it will, as a loss puts them in a 3-0 hole and could lead to a major shakeup in the organization.