Stanley Cup Finals 2011: Who Starts Game 5, Luongo or Schneider?

Bobby Brooks@BrooksBetsAnalyst IIIJune 8, 2011

VANCOUVER, BC - MAY 31: (L-R) Roberto Loungo #1 and Cory Schneider #35 stretch during a practice session the day before the opening game of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Rogers Arena on May 31, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Roberto Luongo let in a whopping eight goals.  Apparently he had the choice to take a seat on the bench after five, but he declined.

He has since admitted that staying in probably wasn't the wisest choice of his career.

Heading into Game 4, Luongo had an 8-4 record after having given up six or more goals in the previous game.  In addition, his goals against average is 1.50 in those 12 games.

Most so-called experts and many confident Canucks fans were convinced both Luongo and the team would bounce back and come out of Boston with a 3-1 series lead going back to Vancouver.

Not so fast my friend.

Instead, Luongo let in another four goals in Game 4 and was promptly yanked from the net in favor of Cory Schneider.

In relief, Schneider played great and stopped the bleeding.

So, now what?

Back in the first round, I wrote a similar article regarding the problem Vancouver had between the pipes.

It wasn't too long ago that Luongo took the lead in the Conn Smythe Trophy race.  After Game 2, he had emerged as a guy on the cusp of his first Stanley Cup, and it looked like his MVP to lose.

How long ago does that seem now?

The thousands of Canucks fans in the TD Garden cheered as Luongo got pulled in Game 4, and now the Vancouver faithful are in full-blown panic mode.

What looked like a sure bet to win the cup, Vancouver now heads home with the weight of the world on their backs.  Game 5 could be a must-win situation given how bad they've looked in Boston.

The talk of sweep has changed from Vancouver to Boston.  Now the Bruins could sweep four in a row on route to Lord Stanley.

Does Alain Vigneault go to Cory Schneider for Game 5 knowing that he could come back to Luongo in Game 6?

What if Schneider does play and wins?  Is that the end of the road for Luongo?

We know Vigneault has the cojones to do it, but will he pull that card on the grandest stage of them all?

It could be a decision that determines the finals.

What say you?

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