Another guy who thinks Luongo should start in the playoffs? Cory Schneider

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Yesterday Canucks GM Mike Gillis said he was “sure” Roberto Luongo would be starting Game 1 of the playoffs.

Depending on which side of the contentious goalie debate you stand, it was either good news or bad. As we saw Tuesday night in Vancouver when Luongo was pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots and replaced, to thunderous applause, by Cory Schneider, there’s clearly a large faction of fans that want the backup between the pipes once the games really start to matter.

But as The Province reports, Schneider’s firmly entrenched in the Luongo camp.

“He’s the guy who got us to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals last year, not me,” Schneider said. “He’s clearly earned the right to [start the playoffs], both through his performance and his history and experience.

“I don’t see why they wouldn’t start him.”

Schneider’s been nothing but supportive of Luongo all season, to the point of calling out the fans who cheered Tuesday’s goalie change.

“It’s getting old,” said Schneider. “I’m glad they like me and support me, but (Luongo’s) a guy that has done a lot for this team and this city — and he deserves a lot better than that.”

But while there’s certainly a segment of Canucks fans that want Luongo to fail – perhaps because they’re still upset at losing to the Bruins, or maybe they just don’t like the guy, or maybe they’re jerks – the real driving force behind the pro-Cory campaign is…Cory Schneider.

Consider:

—-Schneider’s save percentage is .938. Of goalies with more than 30 appearances, only Brian Elliott (.943) has been better in that category.

—-Schneider’s 12-1-1 in his last 14 starts. In the two losses, he surrendered a combined two goals. Yep, just one in each game.

No, he doesn’t have much playoff experience. And yes, his stickhandling is a nightmare.

But to those suggesting Canucks fans are being disrespectful to Luongo, well, maybe they are in some respects. But really all Canucks fans want is a Stanley Cup, and they’re not out of their minds to think Schneider is the better choice.

The guy’s been amazing.

Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers

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Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.

McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.

With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:

1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP

As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.

Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.

The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.

Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

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Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

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The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

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Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

via Getty Images

The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.