Twitter servers took a severe beating Sunday afternoon, as Mike Gillis moved fan favourite goaltender Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils for the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
As a bazillion people who have never watched a single junior game vented their anger in 140 characters or less, the Canucks marched onstage to selected Bo Horvat. The London Knights forward inevitably known as BoHo by Vancouver fans is probably best known as the guy who tapped home an outlandish between-the-legs pass from Max Domi at this year’s Memorial Cup. If you haven’t seen it yet, shame on you. Watch it below.
Over the past two weeks, the Vancouver Canucks have offered up fair-to-middlin’ performances against opposition they should beat. They lost 3-2 to the Calgary Flames and 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, both teams that haven’t made the post-season since John Garrett played goal for the Quebec Nordiques. Despite largely outplaying San Jose — and before you think the Sharks are a good team, they’ve lost to Calgary and Colorado in the past week — Vancouver got frustrated by goaltender Antti Niemi and lost 3-2 in a shootout.
Going into Minnesota Sunday afternoon, the Canucks found themselves just two points up on the Wild for the lead in a Northwest Division they’re supposed to win by default. But for Gary Bettman’s loser point, Vancouver is a .500 hockey team with three wins in 11 games, and they’re leading the division? Come on. They have got to win these games, and win them convincingly. Get off to a good start, take advantage of the power play and run up the score once in a while.
Coming into the 2013 season, Cory Schneider looked forward to his first action as an NHL starter. Halfway through his first game as the #1 guy in Vancouver — a game that was essentially a pre-season game, just with points that count in the standings — he had let in five goals on 14 shots, and the guy wearing #1 on his back was taking over the crease.
Immediately, people all over Twitter, on radio call-in shows and even in the booth on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada started talking about goaltending controversy in Vancouver. What they didn’t talk about was the invisibility of Alex Burrows, the ineffectiveness of the second and fourth lines, or the shakiness of the “deepest defensive corps in the NHL”.
But yeah, goalie controversy, right? We thought we’d look at each goal one at a time to determine just who the goat and/or goats were. Here it is, right after the jump.
Cory Schneider was exhausted yesterday morning. He came off the ice at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Arena, leaned against the wall, and said so. “Wow,” he exhaled, “I’m exhausted.”
He didn’t look tired at all. He looked pretty fresh, actually, considering his commute to practice was upwards of 20 hours long. With a tentative agreement between the NHL and NHLPA still fresh news, Schneider had ended his brief stint in the Swiss Elite League, spent a calendar day in airports and commercial jets, hopped to the gym for a workout, then participated in a practice in full goalie gear with his Canucks teammates. Hell, I’m winded after writing that paragraph.
But as tired as he professed to be, Schneider looked good. And he gamely answered questions for reporters — some of those questions several times — for nearly 30 minutes before they allowed him to hit the showers. There were the obligatory queries about the Roberto Luongo saga. He was asked about the lockout, the potential end to it, and his thoughts on fan revolt. And he took questions on the Swiss League, European travel and Italian food.
One TV reporter asked him if he’ll soon be taking over the @strombone1 Twitter account.
Some of those answers, and a few more pictures after the jump.
The Vancouver Canucks have in their hands one solid, blue chip player who may just be the key to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup win. It’s no surprise they’re in the hunt — they’ve got the last two Art Ross trophy winners in the lineup, for starters, as well as a perennial Selke finalist in Ryan Kesler and a legitimate Norris candidate in Alex Edler. Alex Burrows is no slouch, either, and Cody Hodgson is manufacturing a solid rookie campaign on a constantly rotating lineup of bangers and mashers.
With Roberto Luongo playing some of his best hockey in years – don’t let that annual slow start fool you, his numbers since December 1 are outstanding – it’s his protegé that holds the key to an extended Canuck playoff run. Continue reading →
Sadly, I was not able to watch Wednesday night’s tilt between the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks, as my local cable provider decided that I should spend less time on hockey, and more quality time with my tech support representative wife and daughter.