Cory Schneider, Roberto Luongo

Should Roberto Luongo start Game 5 for Vancouver?


Through the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, Roberto Luongo appeared to be the man destined to make a run at the Conn Smythe Trophy leading the Canucks to victory. He earned a shutout in Game 1 and held strong to get the Canucks to overtime to win Game 2.

In Boston, things took a vastly more disturbing turn as Luongo went on to allow 12 goals in 103 minutes played through Games 3 and 4 as the Canucks dropped both games by a combined score of 12-1. Cory Schneider took over for Luongo just minutes into the third period of Game 4 and did his part by stopping all nine shots he faced as the Bruins took Game 4 4-0.

So now we have to ask the question: Should Luongo start in Game 5? After all, the last time we saw Luongo get lit up this hard by an offense it came in Games 4 and 5 against Chicago in the first round of this year’s playoffs. Vancouver dropped Game 4 7-2 and then lost Game 5 5-0. Cory Schneider then got the call to start in Game 6, a game he ultimately left early thanks to injury and saw Luongo come into only to lose in overtime 4-3.

Some are thinking that coach Alain Vigneault might do the same thing this time around. We’re not so quick to jump on that bandwagon for a big reason. Against Chicago, the Canucks were playing with house money in Game 6. They had a 3-2 series lead heading into that game and if Schneider helped get the Canucks past their mental nemesis from Chicago, all was well. This time around the fate of the Stanley Cup finals hangs in the balance.

The winner of Game 5 will have a chance to end the series on Monday in Game 6. For Vancouver, a Game 5 loss could mean the end of the series given how poorly they played in Boston. For Vancouver, a win in Game 5 would mean they’d at least buy themselves a one game grace period should they get bombed on again in Boston. Versus’ Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick said they’d stick with Luongo for Game 5.

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Of course, there’s the worry about whether or not Luongo is going through a mental phase here where he loses focus and confidence. You could argue that two or three of the goals he allowed in Game 4 he should’ve stopped. He certainly should’ve had Rich Peverley’s first goal that beat him five hole and he had to have Michael Ryder’s shot that beat him over the shoulder.

Luongo had his own reasons why he missed on Ryder’s goal saying the shot dipped about three feet after glancing off Sami Salo’s stick. We’re a bit skeptical of that take but we’re not the pros here.

So what would you do? Would you go back to your Vezina Trophy finalist who had a couple of bad games or would you go with your rookie backup goalie who has looked decent in the limited duty he’s had in the playoffs? Let us know in the comments and vote in our poll as to what you would do.

Julien explains comments about Lundqvist’s ‘acting’

Claude Julien

We’re now over two days removed from last Friday’s tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, but the coaches from both teams seem unwilling to move on.

Moments after that game, Claude Julien claimed that Henrik Lundqvist did some “acting” on the ice to sell a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand.

On Saturday, Alain Vigneault fired back by saying that Julien needed to get his eyesight checked. Vigneault also compared Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan in Friday’s game.

Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.

Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.

Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s time for both sides to move on.

Good news: Colaiacovo traveling with Sabres

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It was a scary sight.

Carlo Colaiacovo fell to his hands and knees after taking a cross-check to the throat from Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson (above).

Arvidsson received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Colaiacovo suffered a dented trachea on the play.

After the game, both Dan Bylsma and Peter Laviolette agreed that there was no malicious intent on Arvidsson’s part.

“I don’t think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check,” Bylsma said. “They kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it’s a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo’s neck.”

“It was tough for Arvidsson,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think he had any bad intentions. He just ran into somebody and the stick got caught a little bit high, but just a tough turn of events.”

The Sabres defenseman left the game and was treated at a nearby hospital, but there is some good news to report.

According to the Buffalo News, Colaiacovo was released from hospital and he was able to travel to Detroit with his teammates.

It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.