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.
—-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.