Flip a coin: Luongo vs. Schneider
By Josh Martin, Sports Editor
Finally the world of hockey is back amongst us. We now have an excuse to meet up with friends, drink beer on random weekdays, and watch some good old hockey. With a 48-game schedule for the remainder of the 2012–13 NHL season, one can only wonder what to expect. Every game counts in a regular 82-game schedule, but with that number now almost cut in half you can bet your ass every game counts.
Three weeks into the season, there have been some interesting topics of conversation that have plagued the newspapers and media about the Vancouver Canucks, with the biggest being goaltending. A personal favourite headline in the Province read, “Jay Luongo takes tonight show away from Conan O’Schneider.” Oh yes, the soap opera continues.
Just like last season, the Canucks have two starting goaltenders to play with. One being the ever-faithful Roberto Luongo—who was famously beat out for the starting position by backup goalie Cory Schneider in last year’s playoffs during the first round against the LA Kings. The second is the aforementioned, Schneider himself. With two stellar goaltenders, it only makes sense to get rid of the old and move in with the new but without a good enough deal with any other team, Luongo has thus far stayed put as a Vancouver Canuck.
“If you’re going to sit there and pout and moan about not playing then it’s a little selfish,” Schneider said. “I understand you have to want that desire to play. And I do.
“I have that very much so. I’m very motivated to play. It’s not that I’m happy … You know, I want to play is the point. At the same time you can’t put yourself ahead of 20 other guys who are trying to do their job.”
After Schneider’s horrible start in the season opener against the Anaheim Ducks, the two goaltenders have split the eight games so far this season in half, with Luongo starting the past three games in a row. He has clearly thrived as being the “backup” goalie, a role which Schneider thrived in last season. Perhaps the secret to success for the Canucks is to not have a “starting goaltender” label but to have two really strong goaltenders. Whatever the case, no one’s complaining about goaltending in this city; they’re just merely obsessed with the situation.
What seems to be the main problem for the Canucks is their offensive production—the total lack of a second line. Aside from the exciting Zack Kassian spectacle along with the Sedin’s, there doesn’t seem to be any consistent source of scoring. And yes, you can make the argument that it’s because of missing both Ryan Kesler and David Booth to injuries but even when they were in the lineup last season the Canucks still had this issue. The fact that Luongo is playing so well to start off the season isn’t hurting the Canucks in the least, making his trade value increase to teams in desperate need of a proven starter. This can serve well if the Canucks can land a top-six forward in return.