Cory Schneider talks Canucks’ playoff chances, hating the Bruins, and more

Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
17 days ago
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Cory Schneider saw plenty of things over his hockey career, which came to an end when the 38-year-old announced his retirement ahead of the 2023-24 NHL season.
Schneider spent six years with the Vancouver Canucks organization after the club selected him with the 26th overall pick of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. The Canucks shipped Schneider off to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the ninth overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, which the Canucks subsequently used to draft future captain Bo Horvat. Schneider spent the end of his career with the New York Islanders.
These days, Schneider is making his mark as a media member, featuring as an analyst on NHL broadcasts and hosting a podcast alongside Brian Boyle titled “One Time All Stars”, referencing the fact that Schneider and Boyle were both All-Star game selections once in their careers.
The ex-Canucks netminder joined Rick Dhaliwal and Don Taylor of Donnie and Dhali — The Team to chat about the Canucks’ playoff hopes, the Stanley Cup Playoffs picture as a whole, and more.
On the show, Schneider started off by talking at length about the West vs. East playoff picture.
“You look at the West, the West to me is just a nightmare. What a minefield that is to get through. I can see six teams out of the West who could win it. The East, maybe not. I think the East is a little more top-heavy. For me, my favourite teams in the East, I really like Carolina, to be honest. I think the way they play, I think adding Guentzel and Kuznetsov, they’ve always lacked that kind of sniper-finisher in the playoffs — a guy who can win them a game individually. They play such a good team game, so for me, Carolina is kind of my pick out of the East even though Florida, New York, Boston could be any of those guys.
“And then out West, it’s just like, pick your poison. Thankfully, the [Vegas Golden] Knights have gone to third place, so Vancouver might avoid them in the first round potentially, but a what a treat to win your division and get the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round. There’s gonna be two or three really, really good teams that are going to go home in the first round of the West. That’s why it’s so hard to handicap, but honestly, right now, and I hate to say this, but I like the Avalanche, I like Colorado a lot if they get healthy. I just think their star power is good, and the additions they made at the deadline with Mittelstadt and Walker helped them a lot. They have the pedigree, so you know, if I had to pick a team, you know, I could pick six teams, but if I had to pick a team from each side, those would be my two teams right now that I think would make it to the finals.”
Schneider talked about the importance of Thatcher Demko getting into some game action before diving into playoff action, which, speaking from experience, he knows can be extremely difficult coming off an injury.
“It’s been tough for them because he was having such a good season. He was back on track, he was looking great. You know, Casey [DeSmith]’s done a good job holding down the fort, but again, Thatcher’s a difference-maker. We saw what he did in the playoffs in the bubble against Vegas, so if he can get to that level, obviously it makes Vancouver one of the favourites, in my opinion.
“But it’s tough. I remember one of my years, maybe the lockout-shortened year, I got hurt going into the playoffs. I got hurt that last week and Roberto started the first two games against San Jose. I came back in and, you know, I’ve always made the analogy, it’s like jumping onto a moving train, especially in the playoffs. The train’s moving, everyone’s on board, and you’re sorta waiting off to the side and trying to time it and get up to speed really quickly to jump onto that train.”
The now-retired goaltender also reacted to Kevin Bieksa’s comments on Saturday night, where Bieksa admitted that the Canucks didn’t want to face the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, and that they instead wanted the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I don’t remember, personally, actively sort of saying, ‘I want this team or that team.’ I think, stylistically, we probably matched up better against Tampa Bay in terms of how we would’ve done against them. I’m not saying we would’ve beaten them, but I think Boston obviously ended up being a very good team and a very tough opponent for us in that series. I can’t remember actively guys talking about who we wanted to play or didn’t want to play, but I’m sure in the back of our minds, I think we might’ve been thinking Tampa Bay was a bit of an easier opponent in that sense.”
Schneider also gave his thoughts on the Canucks and Bruins potentially meeting in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final, and how much he hated those Bruins teams, despite growing up in Boston and rooting for them as a child.
“I’m from Boston, I grew up a Bruins fan, all my buddies were back there, so that was a tough series for me personally. I had no allegiance to them, obviously, but I remember after that series, I hated the Bruins for a long time. You know, just that group of guys and how nasty the series was. I mean, there are obviously some great people, the Bergerons of the world, the Krejcis, who you know, but for a long time, I was kind of rooting for them to not do so well. When they lost to the Blues and the Blackhawks in the Final, I definitely wasn’t heartbroken.
“But now? Again, I don’t know. I’m sure the fans and media would make a lot more of it than the players would, just because it’s completely different people. There’s nobody left except for Marchand on either side. And I just don’t think you see the bad blood nowadays like you did 10-15 years ago. I mean, to me, in my opinion, that was the last real ‘sports hate’ Stanley Cup Final.”

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