Who’s Number One?

Aaahhh… goaltending issues in Vancouver.
It wouldn’t be hockey season without it.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

The Following is a guest post from our friend Marda Miller. Marda grew up in Alberta watching hockey with her dad. Then she became a Canucks fan, moved to Vancouver and now hockey consumes her. She likes wine, chocolate and Alex Burrows and can be found on twitter as @BurrowsGirl.

Written by Marda Miller

Who’s Number One?

There are certain topics that Vancouver Canucks fans just love talking about …over and over and over. Along with strongly disliking the Boston Bruins (OK, hating the Boston Bruins) we have inevitably set ourselves up for a lifetime of scrutinizing Roberto Luongo. Or at least for the next 10 years which is sure to feel like a lifetime.

However, contemplating certain controversial decisions made by the Vancouver Canucks organization provides a great deal of discussion. As does speculating how these decisions will impact the team. Right now the Canucks have two outstanding goaltenders at two very different salaries. Experts, media, and fans alike have all given their opinions on the current goalie situation, but what is it doing to the goalies at the center of this great debate? Oh sure Roberto Luongo has admitted to being in full support of Cory Schneider. And as good as he has been in net these last six games, Schneider has appeared humble as ever and sincerely grateful to be given the opportunity to ride his hot streak, one that has helped the Canucks win their last five games. Both Luongo and Schneider know how to be professional and put on happy, supportive faces when the media is around but I am not buying it. Is this how they REALLY feel?

Luongo is the Canucks number one goalie. He knows this and Alain Vigneault even confirmed it the other day (right before announcing that Schneider would get the next start) so Canucks fans, don’t you worry about the mental stability of Roberto Luongo. I am sure he rocks himself to sleep at night reciting his positive affirmation “I Am Number One” while counting the pucks that he saves in shoot outs. Or Phil Kessel goals on restless nights. And when that fails, he probably relaxes by thinking about those peaceful walks along on the seawall that he took in the spring.

And Cory Schneider is like a cute, excited little puppy. It’s impossible not to want him to continue doing well. He has proven himself in this very demanding goalie market and has won over the hearts of fans everywhere. He even got himself the NHL’s second star of the week! But is he too nice to consider sabotage? Will he try to poison Luongo’s lunch? Or maybe he’ll attempt something far more sinister and randomly bring up that time in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals when the number one goalie was pulled. I can see him playing the psychological warfare game and exposing Luongo’s weakness. Maybe Luongo will come home one day to find his house full of beach balls. Who knows?

These are exciting times to be a Vancouver Canucks fan. Given everything that Roberto Luongo has faced in his career, especially during the last playoff run, sitting out a few games is nothing he can’t handle. Cory Schneider is not infallible, after all his one loss in the last six games did come at the hands of the Blackhawks. The Canucks are on a winning streak right now and at the end of the day that is good news. Now we sit and wait, with a bowl of popcorn, and watch how it all unfolds. Hey Luongo, if Schneider suddenly offers you chocolate, don’t eat it ok?

The above post is the work of Marda Miller, and you can follow her on twitter here.

  • Mantastic

    Perhaps I’ve missed it somewhere, but I’m surprised no one has mentioned that the Canucks seem to be marketing Schneider right now. That is, they want to get as much as possible for him, if they do eventually end up trading him, and so right now they are displaying that he is a bona fide starting goalie, who can play 6-7 (maybe more) tough games in a row. And play well. I’d even wager a guess that this is what they told Luongo, who also gets extra rest, and maybe even Schneider. He’s hot right now, so keep marketing him.

      • Mr. Mantastic: You’re probably right, which makes me think I’m right. Maybe the Canucks picked this stretch for marketing Schneider because there’s some easier teams. At the same time, I’d like to say that, perhaps playing goal in the NHL is easy on you, but not all are made of such inhuman stuff.

        Here are the shot totals, in his starts, including PHX & SJS back to back.

        CHI: 27
        OTT: 29
        COL: 24 (shut-out)
        PHX: 22 (shut-out)
        SJS: 45
        CBJ: 47

        And, according to chance and shot metrics, the Canucks weren’t always the better team in their 5 game winning streak (including OTT & SJS).

        That seems like a tough enough set of opponents.

        • Mantastic

          what does me playing goal in the NHL have to do about anything? those teams i’ve mentioned aren’t in the playoff picture in that time or currently, implying that they are hardly tough as they simply aren’t good.