Cory Schneider

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.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: