Back-to-Back Starts and Wins for Schneider
(3/31/12) With the playoffs just around the corner, and with the Canucks beginning to look like a team that could challenge for Lord Stanley's chalice once again, there is a very interesting story developing in the Vancouver crease. Despite recording a 1-0 shutout this week, Roberto Luongo has been on the bench for two consecutive Cory Schneider victories, one of which was also a 1-0 shutout. Further, in his last start Schneider faced the Canucks' possible first round opponent, the Dallas Stars. Friday's start was "unscheduled," but that might have more to do with throwing the media off the scent in an effort to downplay distractions to the team. We are all aware of Luongo's propensity for meltdowns in big games, and playing Schneider this often looks like a sign that the Canucks are prepared to ride both players in the postseason, even going to Schneider if he can be consistent. Schneider is 12-2-1 since Dec. 29th
Statistically, Schneider is having a far better season than Luongo, albeit in a third the number of games. Hockey poolies drafting Vancouver's goaltending this postseason must handcuff Luongo with Schneider. For a full breakdown of Vancouver's goaltending scenario heading into the playoffs - and for all the playoff teams - download the FREE 2012 Playoff Pool Draft Guide. It's available now.
As for the final games of the regular season, Luongo owners can only watch and hope that he gets more than half of the starts in the final week. If you have the option of switching him with Schneider at game time, of course that would be best, but if not, finding a more stable option might be better.