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Roberto Luongo Or Cory Schneider, Who Gives Vancouver The Best Chance To Win?
April 4, 2012
For the past few seasons, Vancouver goalkeeper Roberto Luongo has failed to live up to the expectations of fans, media, and perhaps even his teammates. Throughout his career, he has failed to deliver consistent performances in the playoffs, despite putting together solid numbers during the regular season. During last year's playoff run, Luongo faltered on many occasions, but then at times he also showed signs of brilliance. This has many people wondering if backup goalie Cory Schneider might give the Canucks a better chance to win in the playoffs this season.
Prior to the trade deadline this March, there was a lot of speculation that the Canucks might trade Schneider in order to add more depth and size up front. GM Mike Gillis opted to hold onto his prized #2 goalie, and failed to make any notable acquisitions that could make an impact in this year's playoff run. Whether or not this was the correct decision remains to be seen, however one thing is for certain, Schneider isn't going to help the team by sitting on the bench, so if you are going to live and die with Roberto Luongo, you might as well have traded Cory at the deadline.
Cory Schneider established himself as one of the best young goalkeepers in the NHL last season, and has followed that up with an even more impressive season in 2011-2012. With just 2 games left in the regular season, he ranks 2nd in the league in save percentage, and 3rd in goals against average. He has won 20 of 27 starts, and his overall play has been either brilliant, or consistent. When you compare his stats with those of starting goalie Roberto Luongo, the numbers simply don't add up, Schneider is simply better than Luongo in every category, according to the numbers.
If you look at how each player has performed lately, the numbers again clearly favor Schneider (who replaced Luongo in his last start, allowing no goals on 9 shots, and leading the team to a comeback victory). In the month of March, Luongo went 4-4 and played poorly much of the time, in contrast, Schneider went 6-2, and was as solid as a rock. It simply wouldn't make any sense for Cory Schneider to start this season's playoffs on the bench, however that is precisely where we expect him to be when the puck drops in game one of the opening round.
It is difficult to blame Alain Vigneault for sticking with Luongo, after all, he still shows the ability to dominate at times, and certainly he is good enough to give the Canucks a chance to win. The fact is, Cory Schneider is the hot goalie at the moment, and has been more consistent the entire season, and even dating back to last season. A good coach has to make tough decisions in order to give his team the best possible chance to win, and in this case it seems that starting the playoffs with Cory Schneider in net would be the right move.
Let The Fans Decide
Who Do You Think Should Start In The Playoffs?
Comparison Of 2011-2012 Statistics (As Of Apr 4)
GP = 53
Wins = 30
Save % = 9.19
GAA = 2.46
GP = 27
Wins = 20
Save % = 9.38 (2nd in NHL)
GAA = 1.93 (3rd in NHL)
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