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Schneider will start seventh straight, but is it a controversy?

Dec 1, 2011, 2:31 PM EDT

Schneider Sign

“Who’s calling it that? Well, again, who cares? That’s not being said in this room. We had two good goalies last year and it helped us in a lot of games. I don’t know why it’s being spun into a bad thing.”

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa on Vancouver’s “goaltending controversy“.

Cory Schneider will start his seventh straight tonight while Roberto Luongo backs him up (for the fifth straight time). It looks and feels like a hot story. Yet somehow, it’s not the hot story.

The hot story is how to classify the story.

Or, if it should be classified at all.

At the moment there are two predominant opinions about Schneider, Luonogo and the current state of Vancouver’s goaltending. The first is that it’s a full-blown controversy. The other is move along, nothing to see here.

Those of the first opinion are ink-stained, coffee-breathed pencil pushers from mainstream media (or sweatpants-wearing, Doritos-munching basement dwellers from the blogosphere).

They’re churning out headlines like:

Is there a ‘goalie controversy?’ The Canucks don’t think so

Cory Schneider’s play keeping Luongo on the bench

Daily Debate: Best net option for Canucks?

Would the Canucks have won Tuesday with Roberto Luongo in net?

Canucks goalie controversy: Schneider has won five straight

It’s not like the controversy theme has been pulled out of thin air. Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault acknowledged the potential uneasiness looming with every Schneider start (and Luongo non-start.)

“I understand how unpleasant it could become,” Vigneault told the Vancouver Province. “But at the end of the day, he’s [Luongo's] a professional, it’s part of his responsibilities and knowing him, he wants to win, and the team is winning right now.

That said, there are plenty of people holding opinion No. 2 — that there is no goalie controversy.

Bieksa is one of those people. So too is GM Mike Gillis, who told TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver that “there’s no controversy,” and that “the controversy is in the media.”

Put Schneider and Luongo in this category as well.

“We just do what we normally do,” Schneider said. “It’s not awkward.”

“He never complained and was always 100-per-cent behind me,” Luongo said of Schneider. “The same thing goes for me. He deserves what he’s getting right now. There’s no doubt that he could be a starter in this league. It’s about the Vancouver Canucks winning games.”

  1. pastabelly - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    There is no controversy. Schneider is the number one goalie until he isn’t. The big question or challenge is keeping the backup from getting rusty.

  2. haterzgonahate - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    the Vancouver media is the absolute worst … never have i seen a city’s sports writers/reporters so quick to throw their own under the bus.

    contracts aside… you do what you have to do to win games. every player knows this. there’s no controversy, just a bunch of negative Luongo stories as per usual. thus the “goalie graveyard” Vancouver has been dubbed over there years with good reason. its absolutely true… and the media’s digging the grave NOT THE FANS!

    Luongo’s problem is he probably reads the papers and being as competitive as he is, naturally he’s extra critical of himself. do you see the pattern?? enuf with the “goalie controversy stories please!!

    and can we talk about Luongo’s contract without including the word “Albatross”? WTF does a bird have to do with this?

    lol. joking of course

    • loinstache - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      The problem is it genuinely is a controversy in this city (at least to those paying attention). You really can’t ignore your fan base, and it inevitably comes up when talking about hockey. I think decades of losing and controversy have taken their toll on this city, no faith or patience.

  3. bigtganks - Dec 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    As a Canucks fan, the Vancouver media wants it both ways and it’s irritating. If Luongo kept starting it’d be about the salary. But with it being 100% about the team, everyone saying the right thing, etc, you guys still want to make something out of nothing.

    It’s like a Vegas streak. Play the hot hand until it runs out. Why not get Lu a lot more rest than normal. My guess is Lou doesn’t start til Schneider gives up 3 or more. (except maybe a 2-0 loss)

  4. babar61 - Dec 1, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Right now it’s Schneider’s job to lose. I am not a Luongo hater at all but if the right offer came along and they could move him for a valuable skater it would be great(i know it is highly unlikely). With AHL goaltender of the year Eddie Lack also coming up they are deep at net and he can step and and be an NHL backup shortly. If not then then ride the tandem out.

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