Cory Schneider will start in goal for the Vancouver Canucks when they take on the Colorado Avalanche Thursday at Rogers Arena.
Associate coach Rick Bowness confirmed the news Wednesday, although it’s hard to imagine why Schneider wouldn’t be given the start.
Schneider has been the starting goalie in each of the last five games and has been the leading cause for the Canucks’ current five-game win streak. He has shutouts in two of his last three starts.
This has left Roberto Luongo, who is in the third year of a 12-year, $64 million contract, parked on the bench.
“We all see how (Schneider) is playing right now,” Luongo told reporters in Vancouver.
“He’s playing unreal, he’s probably the best goalie in the league right now, so obviously you’ve got to roll with the hot hand and that’s totally understandable.”
Luongo was the only goalie to take part in the Canucks’ optional skate Wednesday, and was the only goalie made available to the media.
His future in Vancouver was once again the forefront of conversation.
His named has been linked to trade rumors for almost a full year, ever since Schneider surpassed him as the starting goalie in last year’s playoff series against the L.A. Kings.
There has recently been a steady increase in trade talk surrounding Luongo, with the NHL’s trade deadline of April fast approaching.
The Canucks, with Ryan Kesler out with a broken bone in his foot and Manny Malhotra put on injured reserve due to safety concerns resulting from a devastating eye injury two years ago, are thin down the middle and have been in the market for an NHL-caliber center.
No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer