Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider

Schneider to start Thursday as Luongo takes a seat


Cory Schneider (2-2-0, .897 SV%) will be back in Vancouver’s goal tomorrow in Minnesota for the first time since a 4-1 loss at San Jose on Jan. 27.

Roberto Luongo — the goalie Schneider was supposed to replace this season as the Canucks’ number one — has started the past four games, going 3-0-1 while surrendering just five goals.

All the while, Luongo has continued to be the subject of trade rumors, making his string of consecutive starts the major topic of conversation around the team.

On Monday — the same day Luongo was named the NHL’s third star of the weekSchneider’s agent urged a resolution to the team’s goaltending issue.

Schneider’s season got off to a rough start when the 26-year-old was pulled in the Canucks’ first game after allowing five goals on 14 shots. He’s had a couple of strong performances since then, including a shutout over the Ducks on Jan. 25. But Luongo, 33, has been the better of the two.

“These are very unique circumstances,” Canucks GM Mike Gillis said Tuesday on Vancouver radio. “(Cory) knows our level of commitment to him. He knows how much we believe in him. And I know when he gets in the nets next, he’s not going to want to give it up. Just like Roberto.

“I don’t think it’s an issue at all inside our dressing room or with our team. We are completely conscious of ice time and how players are utilized and Cory is no different. But we have to win hockey games. We don’t have the luxury of. . . people’s feelings, as opposed to wins. We don’t have that luxury.”

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.