NHL Playoffs: It Is Time to Give Cory Schneider a Chance to Steal the Series
Roberto Luongo isn't going to win the Vancouver Canucks anything this postseason.
Well, unless you count a winning ticket on the first flight out of Vancouver on July 1.
So far in Vancouver's two games, Luongo has allowed seven goals on only 64 shots, good enough for an .891 save percentage. That's just not good enough for a team with as high aspirations as the Canucks have year in and year out in the postseason.
However, even though Vancouver is in a do-or-die situation heading on the road to Los Angeles down 2-0, there is still a glimmer of hope for Canucks.
Cory Schneider proved himself this regular season by playing in 33 games, recording a .937 save percentage and a goals against average below 2.00.
However, experience won over the young phenom, and Luongo was placed in net for the opening night against the Los Angeles Kings.
But as Vancouver is now sitting on a possible playoff bust, it is time to let the 26-year-old Schneider shine in net.
Last season, Vancouver played Luongo the entire postseason, and although he looked like himself at times, the high pressure of road games against the Boston Bruins were what caused his downfall.
Ending in a disappointing Game 7, Luongo allowed four goals and the Bruins skated off with the Cup.
Now in a pivotal road game situation, is Luongo really the goaltender that the Canucks want the ship to go down with, so to speak?
Who should get the start in Game 3?
The simple answer is no.
In the playoffs, you pull out all the stops to allow your team the opportunity to win. Luongo is simply not giving his team that opportunity.
He shows flashes of his brilliance, especially in Game 1, but in all he doesn't look sound in net. That lack of confidence in net is radiating through the Vancouver lines, and is one of the reasons (along with brilliant individual efforts from Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown) that Vancouver is in such a bad hole in the first round.
Cory Schneider is unproven in the playoffs, but at this point, the mental issues that must be plaguing Luongo (which has always been the biggest obstacle in his game) are more than enough to give Schneider the nod.
Personally, allowing Luongo to start in even one more game would be one of the biggest gaffes the Canucks have made in the postseason under Alain Vigneault.
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