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:
Cory Schneider is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Joe Cannata is re-called from the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 24, 2013
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…