Tag: goalie rotation

Cory Schneider

Luongo can keep waiting, Schneider starts again tonight


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.

Lindy Ruff’s goalie juggling is based on history?

Ryan Miller, Lindy Ruff

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.

Everyday Al? Montoya gets the call in net again for Islanders today

Al Montoya

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.

Al Montoya gets Isles opening night start over Rick DiPietro and Evgeni Nabokov

Al Montoya

When you’ve got Rick DiPietro, Evgeni Nabokov, and Al Montoya to choose from to start the first game of the year, you’ve just got to go with Al Montoya every time.

That’s apparently what Isles coach Jack Capuano thought as the Isles kick off their season tonight against the Panthers as Montoya gets the call to start in goal over his more experienced fellow goalies. Capuano says he’s “going with a gut feeling” in giving Montoya the start. It’s either that or he wants to prevent from seeing Rick DiPietro have a black cat cross his path on the way to the arena and end up getting broken in the process.

The Isles are rolling with the three-man rotation in goal so it’s not a shock that Montoya gets a start. But on their opening night in front of fired up Isles fans hopeful to see the team make a run at the playoffs, it’s a bit of a shock to not see either DiPietro or Nabokov get the call for the first game.

Return of “Tuukka Time”: Tuukka Rask to see more starts this season in Boston

Tuukka Rask
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Two seasons ago, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask became a sensation in Boston with his stellar play and wild antics in goal. Playing as a feisty loose cannon in goal that makes a ton of saves and wins games will make you a favorite in any city, but in Boston “Tuukka Time” took on a life of its own.

Last season, Rask figured to continue his career onward and upward as Tim Thomas was coming back after a rough season and surgery. Thomas, of course, then went on to have one of the best seasons by a goalie in years winning the Vezina and Conn Smythe trophies and leading the Bruins to the Stanley Cup all while Rask took a backseat playing in just 29 games last season.

With Thomas a year older and coming off a season that saw him play 82 games through the regular season and playoffs, “Tuukka Time” is going to make a huge comeback this season. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty has the details from Bruins coach Claude Julien about how Tuukka Rask will help keep Tim Thomas better rested this season.

“I think it’s pretty obvious that Tuukka has to take a bit of a bigger bite this year. That’s not a secret and don’t plan on making that a secret,” said Julien. “Tim is a great goaltender, but Tim is a goaltender that understands that he can’t play 70 plus games in the regular season. He’s had a long playoffs and I think Tim is going to be just as happy as we are to have Tuukka here and paying some of his best hockey.

“I liked [Rask’s] practice today, I thought Tuukka looked sharp and he came in great shape, so hopefully he’s ready to take on that load. We’ll certainly make sure that we share [the goaltending workload]. You just want to make sure you keep your goaltenders as sharp as you can and Tim had such an outstanding year last year. We’d love to see him duplicate it, but he might be able to duplicate with some help from Tuukka by keeping him as fresh as we can.”

Thomas’ stellar season last year is one that would be awfully tough to replicate and expecting him to do that is asking the impossible. The kind of work he did last year, especially in playing a full season schedule’s worth of games when it was all said and done, is the stuff of legends. It also means you can’t bank on that happening again, especially for a guy who is 37 years-old.

Rask is the heir to the throne eventually in Boston and after a rookie season that saw him play so well, the Bruins have no reasons to worry about how he’ll handle himself in goal. While he didn’t see much action last year, he’s more than capable of getting it done. Julien already saying he’ll be calling his number more often shows their confidence in him. Rask can help the Bruins win games and, more importantly, he can make sure Boston doesn’t miss a beat while Thomas gets a breather to help him be rested for a playoff run.

Let’s just hope Bruins fans can remember their “Tuukka” call for when he does get the call.