Schneider to start Thursday as Luongo takes a seat

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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.”