Is Cory Schneider the Vancouver Canucks’ new top goalie? That might the question dominating many bars in the Vancouver area, but Alain Vigneault probably cares most about the here-and-now. Let’s just say the present is looking awfully good.
Schneider reeled off his fourth consecutive win by subduing an attacking San Jose Sharks team. The red-haired netminder made 43 saves as the Canucks managed to cling to a 3-2 win. Jeff Paterson reveals that Schneider now has a 97.5 percent save percentage during this streak, allowing just three goals in four phenomenal games.
As Joe points out, Roberto Luongo is likely the long-term guy in Vancouver. Whether that’s because he has the long-term contract or not is open to debate, but the bottom line is that Schneider is one of – if not the – best backups in the NHL, so why not take advantage of a hot streak?
Schneider will be a restricted free agent next summer, so everyone can potentially win (the Canucks, his accountant, his agent, etc). If the Canucks face a more expensive version of the Montreal Canadiens’ Jaroslav Halak vs. Carey Price situation when July 2012 comes, then that’s a better problem to have than owning zero NHL-caliber goalies overall.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.