Originally written January 31, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
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Here we go again… Really? Do you want to talk about something else around the water cooler today? The Canucks won, so you have most, if not all of your hair; and it was only a Wednesday, so you’re probably not droopy eyed and clinging to that fifth cup of coffee. I just wanted to take a second to touch on the goalie issues the Canucks are currently having, or not currently having. I guess it depends on how you look at it all. The Plan The plan after an early exit for last seasons playoffs was to trade Roberto Luongo. Cory Schneider emerged as the new starter and it looked like Luongo’s time in Vancouver was all but done. Fast forward nine months and you have Roberto Luongo coming into training camp; surprised that he was still a member of the Vancouver Canucks, he even said it himself. Nine months isn’t a typical layoff between seasons mind you, but given the circumstances of the lockout and how it truncated the season, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that Luongo is still here. What may have surprised people is how well Roberto has handled all of this since losing to the Kings last April. It’s been nothing but the right things said by Luongo and not in the typical hockey player cliche kind of way. Starting the season with two goalies had never been out of the question Starting the season with two goalies had never been out of the question for the Canucks management. They’ve said from day one that if they can’t find a deal that suites their needs, then they had no problem holding on to and playing both goalies. While most teams would chomp at the bit to have two starting goalies, some began to see this as a distraction. Perhaps in the locker room or in the media, but so far – again, it’s been nothing but class and the right things said by both goalies. Mike Gillis has also stayed true to his word – when a supposed deal to the Maple Leafs fell through, Gillis stuck to his guns, he didn’t make a trade for the sake of trading a player. Both goalies are in Vancouver and both have played and from what we can tell, will continue to play. Where do you go from here? If there really isn’t a suitable trade on the table for Luongo, then you have to play him, his resume is to decorated for him to be simply relegated to the bench, only to play in one of every five games or so. Having said that, you also have to play Cory Schneider, this is the guy that was told he was the number one after last years playoffs. He signed a three-year extension when he could have easily held out for a one-year deal in order to test the free agent market after this season, but he didn’t. So how do you make both goalies happy? Considering neither have complained once or so much as frowned at the idea of the other goalie getting games, you have to think that Schneider, who by all means is ready, really wants the net every night. But, he’s a team player, he has been since he’s been on the bench in Vancouver and I think he knows that the coaches go with who they feel gives them the best chance to win. I think from here you just have to continue to play the hot hand, the goalie who gives you the best chance at winning. If there isn’t a trade on the table you ride both through a 48 game season. If both are here at the end of the season and into the playoffs you have two very capable goalies who are ready to back one another up. Once this season comes to an end, that’s when you make your choice. Whether that is Schneider or Luongo, we’ll have to wait and see, at this point it may literally be “one day at a time, one game at a time”. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN THE CLUBHOUSE TODAY!
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