Skip to content

Luongo to sit, Schneider to start versus Bruins

Jan 6, 2012, 3:43 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

Roberto Luongo will be on the bench to start tomorrow’s Stanley Cup rematch in Boston. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault is going with backup Cory Schneider instead of the Canucks’ franchise goalie.

The news comes as a surprise to many. (Including a certain dashing hockey blogger who went on TV yesterday and all but guaranteed Luongo would start.)

According to the Canucks’ Twitter feed, Vigneault said the decision was based more on Schneider, a Massachusetts native and Boston College alum who will get to start in front of family and friends, than Luongo, the guy who was ventilated in all three games at TD Garden during the Cup finals.

Odd, since Vigneault has long maintained the goalie who gives the Canucks the best chance to win will play. It’s why he started Schneider seven straight times in November.

On Wednesday, Luongo shut out the Wild, so it’s not like he’s struggling.

“I would have liked to play this game, but in fairness to Cory he’s from here and deserves to play this game,” Luongo told reporters.

Of course, perhaps this is just Vigneault’s way of saying tomorrow is just another regular-season game.

“If we win tomorrow, they’re not going to give us the Cup back,” he said.

Related: To fight back or turn the other cheek – Sedin says “it’s a no-win situation”

  1. titknocker - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    rumor has it roberta tweaked his vagina, surprised the sedin sisters haven’t asked out of the game yet.

    • loinstache - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      You tried too hard on that one, better luck next time champ!

    • vanfoodman - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      Misogynist

    • bigtganks - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Meanwhile Horton will pretend he’s suffering from a concussion until the game’s over.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        Rome’s still out recovering from a broken thumb, so Horton doesn’t have to worry anymore about keeping his head up. :P

    • haterzgonahate - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      recess is over, back to class

    • elvispocomo - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      And Marshmont is begging out with the ‘flu’…

      • drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:18 PM

        Missed yesterday as well, chump.

  2. govtminion - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    “If we win tomorrow, they’re not going to give us the Cup back.”

    I admit I drank a lot last summer, but… I don’t recall them giving it to you in the first place, Alain.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      Well, English is his second language.

      • vanfoodman - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        And being a xenophobe is your choice.

      • drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:39 PM

        Not getting a joke is yours.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      It’s actually a highly paraphrased misquote by the ESPN writer linked behind it (shocking, I know, that ESPN would get something wrong about hockey! I’m still amazed they know when the season’s on). The real quote from a Pierre LeBrun (also on ESPN but at least he gets it right) article this morning goes as follows:

      “Unless they’ve changed the rules, even if we go in there Saturday and we win, they’re not going to hand us the Cup.”

      http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/13532/weekend-rumblings-canucks-keeping-rematch-in-perspective

  3. bigtganks - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Makes perfect sense. Especially since Schneider was playing hot and Luongo suprisingly got the start in Montreal, HIS hometown.

    It’s a regular season game. Good grief…

    • gallyhatch - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      Yeah, on paper tomorrow’s game is only worth 2 points.

      But it is worth much more than that. It’s a chance for the Bruins to prove last spring was not a fluke.

      It’s a chance for the Canucks to prove that they can hang with arguably the toughest team in the NHL.

      Tomorrow is a big game, it’s a grudge match through & through.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        I’d argue them playing well all season so far has proved last year wasn’t a fluke. Same goes for the Canucks. One game has no bearing on that, at least for anyone with any sense of perspective.

        The only thing that’s different about this game is it’s a chance for one of the top teams in one conference to get a 4 point swing on one of the top teams in the other conference.

      • drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:19 PM

        Hard to call a Cup win “a fluke”.

  4. titknocker - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Good thing Luongoal is only signed thru 2020

  5. mornelithe - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Not entirely surprising, Luongo didn’t fare all that well in the Cup series last year when they were in Boston. Probably just mixing it up and seeing how things go. Of course, you’d be a fool to think Alain wouldn’t throw Luongo out there immediately if Schneider gets in trouble.

    Either way, should be a great game, just won’t mean a whole heck of allot.

    • bigtganks - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      No kidding. It’s a NON CONFERENCE game in January.

      • mornelithe - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        Yeah, but the media would have nothing to do if they didn’t hype games that pretty much had no meaning.

  6. bigtganks - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    To borrow from someone else, this makes sense:

    1) It shows that AV is sticking to a strict plan instead of letting Lu play too many games, and alternating between the two more frequently.
    2) It shows Cory how important they think he is to the organization by playing him against the best other team in the NHL, and in his Hometown.
    3) It shows Luongo that AV isn’t unwilling to make the tough decision.
    4) It’s a regular season game, that surely will be used as a litmus test, but nonetheless is still 2 points on the board.
    5) Cory Schneider deserves every opportunity to play against good teams as he demonstrated with the clinic he put on the Sharks earlier this year with 46+ saves as well as some other big showings.
    6) Tuuka Rask has 3 shutouts in his last 4 starts games for the B’s, they’re sticking to a plan too…

    • haterzgonahate - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      well said!

      i like AV’s decision.. it’s like a big FU to the media over-hype of this game. Schneider deserves to play in his hometown. he wouldn’t play Schneider in Montreal?

      thats all it is people…

  7. BurkieInBoston - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Would Canuck fans prefer Thomas or Rask in net tomorrow?

    • taytay099 - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      Both.

  8. pastabelly - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    It is further indication that Vingeault believes that Luoungo really is a head case. There is no doubt that the Garden would give Luoungo a very hard time and they fear that another beating in Boston would send him back light years. In the long run, everyone, including Luongo, knows that Boston has his number, especially at the Garden. Schneider is a local Boston kid and I guess they can spin this as giving him a chance to play at home in Boston. But this isn’t just “any other game” or just a stop on a road trip in January. The Bruins certainly aren’t treating the game that way. The date on the calendar has been circled by more than one team.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      They could have any number of reasons for starting Schneider aside from

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        *cough*

        Aside from the “Roberto is a headcase” storyline.

        That being said, Schneider has 0 career starts against the Bruins and I am guessing the coaching staff will be watching closely to see how he deals with their attack. It may be valuable information some time this season..

        And of course taking a step back, how Corey deals with top teams is something the Canucks want to be very sure of in deciding how to handle him this offseason.

  9. gallyhatch - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    FWIW most goalies are head cases, Luongo is not an exception. He just made some really stupid comments to the media during the Stanley Cup series, and then was not able to back up the talk.

    I think this is a no-brainer decision for Vigneault. Why would he put Luongo out there in front of the Garden crowd if he doesn’t have to? The Bruins are a freight train right now, they outscored their last two opponents by a combined score of 15-1. I would sit Luongo too.

    The last time he was on this ice, he was getting pulled less than 10 minutes into game 6 & the crowd was killing him. And the crowd will be killing him tomorrow too, even if he’s on the bench. I’m disapointed he won’t be between the pipes, you could make the argument that it’s a cop-out, but you can also make the argument it’s what’s best for the Canucks in the long term.

    I expect the Bruins to win regardless of who the Canucks put in goal.
    Go Bruins.

  10. pastabelly - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    I love all of the Vancouver spin on this one, especially the one about seeing how Schneider plays in Boston. I’m pretty sure he got considerable time there in two of the three games in the Finals last year. This is a chickenshit move done for the purpose of protecting the tire pumper’s feelings. The B’s have scored 17 goals in their last two games in Boston and this is damage control.

    • drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Yep. The Canucks know that the Boston (both crowd and team) would eat him alive and he’d get pulled again.

    • vanfoodman - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      Uh and what’s wrong with protecting Luongo now? After all, this is just a 2 point mid-season non-conference game. Why gives the Bruins or their fans the satisfaction until it really matters, like sometime in June?

      • deepthreat - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM

        Because we like hockey and big games and rivalries. If the Bruins do get there in June, we would love to see Luongo and the Canucks. I don’t think you want to see us… That’s why the Canucks turtling is a disappointment…

  11. thatsdoinit - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    There’s a few schools of thought on the subject.

    1. Starting Schneider. Is it really because he is from Boston? Some will argue that he is the better goalie. If he stands on his head, does that start the “if we started Schneider we would have won the cup! Trade Luongo!” banter by local media and fake-fans (I say fake fans because the real ones don’t give a shit who starts, as long as they get the W). Does it mess with Luongo’s psyche? Does he feel that the organization doesn’t trust him enough to play in Boston?

    2. Start Luongo. Do you give the man a chance to slay some proverbial dragons? A chance to break this apparent “hex” he has with playing in Boston? The organization saying “you’re our guy. We got you. We believe in you”? (I’m not insinuating that they don’t.) If he shuts the door in Boston, that’s an obviously huge confidence boost. On the flip side, what happens if he starts and thing go south quickly? Say 3 quick goals in the first? Do you give him the hook? What does that do to his mind?

    Too many questions and “what-ifs”. Glad I didn’t have to make that decision.

    Should be a good game.

  12. blomfeld - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    ABSOLUTE HOGWASH !

    Most of you here appear to be “informed” hockey fans and therefore it’s amazing that the central “key” issue is being completely ignored in this discussion. The bottom line is that Canuck’s Management are doing absolutely “everything” in their power to “massage, protect and promote” the ridiculous financial liability which is Luongo’s 12 year contract (ie: the most expensive and foolhardy expenditure ever in Canuck’s history). Luongo is an asset with “perceived” value on their books and so they can ill afford to have that asset depreciate even further in book value, with another “stinker” performance back in Boston. Ever since the announcement of this “DiPietro” style contract, the lengths to which the Canucks and the “locally” financed media have gone to “massage, protect and promote” this investment, is almost embarrassing.

    • drewsylvania - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:26 AM

      They ain’t trading him. Which means they’re stuck with that giant, dumb contract.

      Which means you’re probably right.

      Though if they start him against Boston, he might quit hockey after the drubbing, which would save Vancouver from having to pay him…

  13. blackhawkslove - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    LOLongo would get railroaded by the B’s offense. Do him the decency and not let him get thrown to the lions in the TD Garden haha.

    Good luck Corey.

  14. redrew - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Vancouver just doesn’t get it. Perfect opportunity to shed their SOFT image…..alas….they embrace it.
    PS. The Canadian Mounted Police are rounding up chiropractors…..massive search for the Canucks’ spines

  15. gallyhatch - Jan 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Saving my voice this morning, I’m going to need it this afternoon:

    “WHERE’S LUONGO?”

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Anderson (1638)
  2. B. Bishop (1579)
  3. M. Fleury (1508)
  4. D. Alfredsson (1463)
  5. J. Harding (1344)
  1. C. Price (1233)
  2. M. Staal (1151)
  3. D. Setoguchi (1135)
  4. A. Ekblad (1130)
  5. J. Giguere (1116)