If you’ve been sitting at home pining to see the return of Roberto Luongo in goal, you might want to clutch your Luongo Canucks jersey a little tighter.
Cory Schneider is getting the start once again tonight for Vancouver against the Sharks. Schneider earned a shutout last night against Phoenix and Alain Vigneault is sticking with the hot hand. Hey why not, he’s said it’s a “no brainer” move after all. This makes five straight starts now for Schneider.
Luongo being healthy enough to play hasn’t been the issue lately, instead it’s Vancouver shaking off their playoff hangover and getting things right again. Schneider shutting teams out and playing great in goal makes the decision easy, but at some point Luongo’s got to get it going.
Canucks fans clamoring for Schneider to start have been getting their wishes fulfilled of late but the fact is, Luongo is their man and getting him back in form is the key for Vancouver. It’ll happen eventually, but the battle lines are drawn amongst the fan base. Team Cory and Team Roberto is about as weird of a “Twilight” comparison as you’ll ever see.
Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth have been having the awkward dance of having Lindy Ruff decide who gets the start on a game-to-game basis. Any other season it would be virtually automatic that Miller would get the start, but this season has seen Miller have a rough start and Enroth has thrived when given the chance.
With a funky stretch of games coming up, Ruff’s rotation appears to based on statistics in how his goalies have matched up in the past against their opponents. Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News breaks down how the Sabres’ rotation plays out this weekend with Enroth getting the start against Ottawa tonight while Miller goes in Boston tomorrow.
While Enroth doesn’t have the extensive history Miller does against these teams, Miller has been bad in his career against Ottawa while Enroth in just a few starts has been lights out. Perhaps Miller is just stuck with flashbacks to the 2007 Eastern Conference finals that saw the Sens roll the Sabres in five games.
For now, Miller will just need to dominate in the starts he does make so he can go back to being the absolute #1 guy. While it’s a great luxury for Buffalo to have Enroth playing so well, Miller going through the motions won’t help the Sabres be a Cup contender.
Al Montoya’s play in goal was about the only highlight for Islanders fans in their 2-0 opening night loss to Florida. With that in mind, Isles coach Jack Capuano is sticking by the former first round pick and giving him the start this afternoon against Minnesota.
With the other options the Isles have in goal with Rick DiPietro and Evgeni Nabokov, Montoya getting the call to start again is rewarding the guy who played his rear end off. Considering the efforts of the rest of the Isles’ squad on Saturday night, sticking with the one guy who did play well is the smart move.
The Islanders figured goal to be the one position that would provide for the most debate this season but after just one game (small sample size alert!), goalie seems to be the least of their worries. We’ll see if Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi test them out a bit more tonight.