Northwest Noise: Luongo Bounces Back Like a Bat Out of Hell

Northwest Noise is a weekly feature covering the past week in Vancouver Canucks news, offering you a soundtrack to their season every Monday as the team marches to the beat of its own drum throughout the regular season.

Cory Schneider made the most of his time as the starting goaltender in front of Roberto Luongo however during this week’s wild 6-5 loss to the Nashville Predators the backupcollapsed and lost the position just as quickly as he had earned it.

After Schneider allowed three goals on five shots against the Predators on Tuesday, Head Coach Alain Vigneault jumped at the chance to shoot Roberto Luongo back into the spotlight, replacing Schneider with sweet Lu to start the second the second period.

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Like a bat out of hell Luongo came screeching back, only to blow a two goal lead allowing Nashville to come back for a 6-5 victory. Despite the poor performance from Vancouver’s goaltenders in a crazy contest against the Predators, the Canucks continue to cruise playing solid hockey lately.

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Two out of three ain’t bad for the Canucks this week considering how close the Thursday’s game against the Predators turned out to be. Both wins versus the Blue Jackets and Flames were convincing victories and there simply aren’t many nights either one of Vancouver’s goaltenders will allow five goals in one game.

Now that Luongo has settled in as the (acting) starter once again, heaven can wait for Schneider as he rightfully returns to his spot behind the Olympic Gold Medal winner. After witnessing the Boston Bruins ride veteran Tim Thomas and young prospect as their goaltending duo all the way to the Stanley Cup, the Canucks are likely to do the same with their talented tandem.

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While Cory Schneider experience paradise by the dashboard light in his first big run as Vancouver’s starting goaltender, his showcase had to come to an end at some point. No one expected the Predators to pounce on the Canucks quite like they did Thursday, but the premature end to Schneider’s reign in the crease should remind fans that anything can happen in today’s NHL.

Most Canucks fans also expected Mason Raymond to start Thursday’s game against the Predators but were stunned after a rare mistake from Vancouver’s management delayed the speedy winger’s start by a few days.

Raymond was left all revved up with no place to go on Thursday after Canucks management failed to file the appropriate paperwork in time for the game against Nashville. Instead, Aaron Volpatti played what could turn out to be his last game of the season, scoring a goal in his final opportunity before a nagging shoulder would sideline the Revelstoke native.

Vancouver’s fourth line will take on a new identity now that Volpatti’s season has most likely come to an end. With the return of Raymond, Manny Malhotra will be bumped to the final line of forwards alongside Dale Weise and Maxim Lapierre.

For Crying Out Loud

Just when it seem the supposed controversy in the Canucks’ crease had been settled, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun has run rumours of Roberto Luongo’s availability up the flagpole just to see who will stop and stare.

From Garrioch:

“The talk among league executives is the Canucks have dangled Luongo in trade circles, but haven’t been able to find anybody interested in his $5.3-million cap hit and contract that runs through the 2021-22 season. Schneider will be shipped at some point.”

Considering the contradictory close in which he admits Schneider is likely to be trade sometime soon, I reason to believe Garrioch is actually trolling Canucks fans. The paragraph containing the above quote is titled “Rumours Du Jour” perfectly mimicking Calgary Flames General Manager Jay Feaster’s rant from earlier this week regarding Jarome Iginla trade rumours.

“I guess one of the questions I have – where do these things start? Legitimate sources? Or is it a blogger in the basement in his underwear that says, ‘This is the rumour du jour’? Then you guys feel the need to come and track it down.”

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Jay Feaster, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Where is Garrioch getting this insight? Is publishing the rumour simply a ploy for attention, or did he just need something to fill the space of a blurb reserved for the rumour of the day?

While these questions will likely remain un-answered, the thought of Garrioch in his underwear will haunt Canucks fans longer than any of these silly rumours ever will.


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Filed Under: Vancouver Canucks


About the Author: Kevin Vanstone is a long time sports fan and Canucks die hard from White Rock, British Columbia. He is currently attending the University of Victoria pursuing a Writing degree, and in his spare time writes about all things Canucks hockey as well as news and notes from around the NHL.

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