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Matt Romig

Luongo out 4-5 weeks; Sanford in, Schneider ready

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Vancouver backup goalie Curtis Sanford is currently owned in about 19 percent of Yahoo! leagues. That leaves at least 81 percent of Roberto Luongo owners either asleep at the wheel or apparently not too concerned about the groin injury that we learned today will sideline the Canucks captain for four-to-five weeks.

Those Sanford ownership figures are likely spiking by the second. It's the move, yes. Sanford starts Monday against the Red Wings and stands to make in the ballpark of 12-15 appearances if Luongo needs the full five weeks to recover.

But there's a Plan C for fantasy owners, too – the 4-percent owned Cory Schneider. Selected in the first round of the 2004 entry draft, Schneider is "more than ready" according to the Vancouver Sun.

The numbers back up the assertion. Before being summoned to join the Canucks he was 10-1 with a 1.37 goals-against average for the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. He owns a 10-game win streak and a .945 save percentage. If you want to get technical on his style, click here.

Schneider seems to understand it's Sanford's gig until "something goes wrong," but with the Red Wings and then a home-and-home against Calgary on the horizon, the chances of that happening are better than average. Even if Sanford is an adequate or better replacement, it's unlikely Vancouver wants its top goalie prospect cooling off on an NHL bench for the remainder of 2008.

There's been very little in the way of official team statements – we do know it's Sanford on Monday – so until this thing shakes out both goalies should be rostered in standard formats. So let's hear it, Luongo owners, what's your move?

Update: Official confirmation is a strained groin muscle, with Luongo listed as week-to-week. He's only been ruled out for a week, which is good news, but week-to-week can mean pretty much anything, including five weeks.

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