Cory Schneider Injured, Joe Cannata Called Up

You just knew when Luongo wasn’t moved at the deadline that he’d factor into the playoffs somehow.
Photo Credit Jeff Vinnick

As if this isn’t the most typically Vancouver Canucks news item of the season:

There are a couple of things worth noting here. First of all "day-to-day" tells us absolutely nothing about Schneider’s status or the injuries severity. Also the team is in full blown playoff mode in not disclosing the nature of the injury at all. My guess is it’s at least somewhat serious or the wording wouldn’t be so cryptic and the roll out of the news probably wouldn’t be so official.

So will Cory Schneider be back for game one of the postseason? It’s impossible to tell, frankly, but I’d bet he tries. Read past the jump.

By the Goals Versus Threshold (GVT) metric (a type of hockey wins over replacement stat that isn’t predictive but is pretty good at measuring individual contributions), Cory Schneider has been Vancouver’s most valuable player this season, and the eleventh most valuable player in the entire league. He’s been, functionally, a six win player in twenty-nine games which is pretty ridiculous and his presence will obviously be sorely missed. 

Going into the first round, in fact, Schneider might have been Vancouver’s trump card. Though Bobrovsky and Niemi have been outrageously good this season, Cory Schneider was probably the Western Conference’s best netminder heading into the playoffs. Yes, Roberto Luongo remains a stellar goaltender, but he hasn’t been quite in Schneider’s stratosphere this season…

Roberto Luongo’s overall save percentage on the year sits at .913 which is well below his career average (.919). Luckily for the Canucks that appears to be mostly driven by his unsustainably low short-handed save percentage (.828), and Luongo has been his typical rock solid self at five-on-five this season with a .926 save percentage at evens. 

There are also some potential long-term benefits for the Canucks here. If Roberto Luongo does factor into the playoffs (and I’d wager at this moment that he will) and plays well, that’ll help leave a good impression on some of his potential suitors at the NHL draft. 

In the meantime the Canucks have called up first year pro Joe Cannata. Cannata was a standout at Merrimack a year ago, but, man, is he green around the gills. Cannata appeared in only twenty-one games this season between the ECHL and AHL and his numbers were about what you’d expect from a first year professional who probably isn’t ready to stop pucks that are shot by NHL shooters (.912 sv% in the AHL, .905 sv% in the ECHL). So yeah, Luongo’s health is now of paramount importance to the Canucks…

Ironically, after all of the criticism that Mike Gillis and the Canucks have faced for keeping Roberto Luongo around for this long, it appears that his immovable contract might be precisely the thing that bails the Canucks out in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. I mean, imagine if the Canucks were in a position where they were going to be relying on Ben Scrivens in the first round…

    • I think they would want to give Luongo the last 2 starts in case Scheider’s injury ends up stretching into the playoffs. If Luongo has to play at all in the first round, he can use these last 2 games to get back into the groove of playing.

  • BrudnySeaby

    My guess it isn’t too serious. If Eddie Lack is out recuperating from hip surgery, wouldn’t the Canucks sign Matt Climie if they needed a back-up for the play offs? Or maybe I should ask if the Canucks can still sign Matt Climie?

    • BrudnySeaby

      If it wasn’t serious, I don’t think the team would have said anything at all about it.

      Instead, they could have said Luo was starting the last home game of the season (and his career in Vancouver) as a nod to his tenure. No one would have batted an eye if that was said or implied.

      But Schneider is injured enough that he isn’t ok to sit on the bench just in case Luo needs to be relieved, so…

      Maybe its my pessimism as a Canucks fan, but I’m thinking it is serious.

  • BrudnySeaby

    Thanking the hockey gods every night. Over 1/2 the leagues starting goalies have been injured through 40 games this yr. That’s, ugh, scary.

    So I thank the hockey gods for finding a way to keep Luongo on this team. There would likely be rioting in Vancouver today after news of Schnediers injury had Luongo been somewhere else. How would Scrivens look going into the playoffs against the Blues? Yah, point made.

    Also, poor Cannata. Been screwed by the Chicago Wolves this year (sidenote: Good riddens to the Wolves affiliation). Rumors this past summer Gillis had it out with Chicago cause he wanted Cannata on the Wolves, and they signed Climie. Luckily, Gillis ended that crap affiliation and now Cannata can get a lot more starts next yr.

    Hopefully Schendeirs injury isn’t serious.