Roberto Luongo started the first two games of the Vancouver Canucks’ series against the San Jose Sharks, after Cory Schneider was out with what the team called a “body injury.” Which is to say he would have gotten the Game 1 start over Luongo, if healthy.
Now, down 0-2 to the San Jose Sharks and headed to the Shark Tank on Sunday night, the Canucks are going with Schneider in a must-win Game 3. Said Coach Alain Vigneault (via the Canucks Twitter feed):
"Cory's playing. He's good to go. Goaltending hasn't been the issue, but prior to his injury, he was real good."
"I'm in tonight, I'm ready to play and I'm excited."
Schneider posted a 17-9-4 record with a 2.11 GAA and a .927 save percentage with 5 shutouts in 30 games this season. He has a 1-2 record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 11 goals allowed on 183 shots. That’s a 1.91 goals-against average. Last season, when he inherited the starting job against the Los Angeles Kings, he was 1-2 with a .960 save percentage and a 1.31 GAA.
But as his coach said: Goaltending has not been the issue.
They’ve been outscored 15-8 in five games against the Sharks this season, and haven’t been able to match their foes’ scoring depth this series.
Canucks star Henrik Sedin was still defiant, via the Vancouver Sun:
“No one is believing in us, apart from us,” Henrik continued. “I think every time we're down in a series, no one believes in us. We were in L.A. a few years back (2010) and we were down 2-1 going into the fourth game and we came back and won three straight. So this is a city where if you win a playoff game, everybody is happy and if you lose one or two, no one's going to believe in you. That's the way it is in every market and that's the playoffs.
“If we would have won yesterday, we'd be standing here as happy as ever and going down there feeling good about ourselves. I liked the way we played yesterday. We have to believe in ourselves and do the same thing tomorrow. If we do, we're going to give ourselves a good chance.”
Maybe a change in goal will help allow them to turn the page in the first two losses.