Cory Schneider

Make it six: Schneider to start for Vancouver…again


In a furious race for Interweb supremacy, Vancouver Canucks beat writers (here, here and here) all simultaneously tweeted the big news:

Cory Schneider will start his sixth straight game tomorrow night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This is uncharted territory for Schneider, fresh off earning the NHL’s second star of the week. Though he’s been with Vancouver since 2008-09 and started 22 games last year, he’s never rattled off this many consecutive appearances.

(Ironically enough, one of Schneider’s longest consecutive games streaks came in the opening round of last year’s playoffs against Chicago. He relieved Roberto Luongo in Games 4 and 5, then started Game 6. Moving along…)

The always even-keeled Vancouver media is treating this development as you’d expect. The Vancouver Sun ran a column about how Luongo makes for an excellent backup goalie while a local TV journalist made a “Luongo should change his name to Wally Pipp” joke.

Overreactions aside, it is a big development. The Canucks have had reasons (or, excuses) for riding Schneider lately — Luongo was coming off an injury, they needed to string together wins, they weren’t in a playoff position — but those reasons (or, excuses) don’t fly anymore. Luongo is beyond healthy. They’ve won four straight and seven of 10. They’re in the thick of the playoff pack and two points out of the Northwest Division lead.

Plus, Tuesday night’s game is against Columbus. The worst team in hockey. There might not be a better opponent to ease Luongo back in, but it’s also a terrifying prospect. Imagine if Luongo starts against Columbus and stinks the joint out. What happens then?

Ergo, the Canucks will continue employing the “Vegas Philosophy” with Schneider (as coined by Canucks play-by-play man John Shorthouse): You might only get on a heater once, so make sure to ride it as long as possible.

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.