The Canucks won their seventh in a row last night, battling back to beat Anaheim 5-4 in a shootout. But Vancouver being Vancouver, obviously the only thing everyone’s talking about today is the goaltending. Specifically, the fact Robert Luongo allowed four goals on 15 shots and the crowd at Rogers Arena cheered loudly when he was replaced by Cory Schneider.
From The Province:
In most years, make that in every year before this one, [Luongo’s] outing would have been essentially brushed aside. Loose team, with a loose goalie in a (mostly) mean-nothing game.
Who cares? Wake us up when it’s for real.
But this isn’t most years. This is a Vancouver Canucks team with a finite window, whose only real goal is to win it all. This is a Vancouver Canucks team with a backup goalie who started Tuesday with a 9-2-1 record, a 1.50 GAA and a .952 save percentage since the all-star break.
Oh, it’s easy to love the backup. But it’s never been this easy.
Luongo provided the predictable “it is what it is” comment when asked about the crowd’s reaction, adding, “I play with a lot of heart and unfortunately I am as disappointed as everybody else. You just put it behind you and move on.”
Safe to say he heard the crowd’s cheers loud and clear.
Vancouver has two games left before the playoffs. Luongo will get a chance to put last night behind him. And yes, his teammates have his back.
“None of those goals were Lu’s fault,” Henrik Sedin said. “Those were bang-bang plays. Guys were just walking in. It was a tough night for him because we gave up those chances.”
But a lot of Canucks fans have already made up their minds, and they want Schneider.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?