To some extent, it feels like we’ve been through this drill before. Roberto Luongo struggles mightily in two straight games after the Vancouver Canucks take hold of a series, prompting media members to debate which Vancouver goalie should start. The feeling was that head coach Alain Vigneault would remain loyal – maybe stubbornly so – by sticking with Luongo rather than his capable backup, Cory Schneider … yet there was the sense that he wasn’t telling the whole truth.
Last time the Canucks were at this fork in the road, it was during their first round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Vigneault seemed to give Luongo the nod to start going into the game. Of course, Vigneault flipped the script when the puck dropped, placing Schneider in net instead.
Naturally, it’s not the same exact situation since the Boston Bruins haven’t drop-kicked the Canucks out of the playoffs for two straight years like Chicago did, but the parallels are meaningful enough. Either way, Vigneault is giving a similar indication that Bobby Lou will be the go-to guy in Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Here’s what he said during a press conference.
“You can bet on it,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “Roberto is the guy. He’s my guy and he’s playing.”
Of course, it’s probably important to note that misinformation is often used as a weapon during these high stakes finals matches. Could Vigneault have a trick up his sleeves? (He did seem to smirk a bit when he made the announcement, which probably doesn’t mean anything … but still.)
We might not know who Vancouver’s Game 5 starter will be until around game time, but for now, we’ll take Vigneault’s comments on face value. That being said, we’re going to pass on his suggestion to make a wager on that decision.