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Canucks’ Schneider comes up big, Wild’s scoring woes continue

Feb 7, 2013, 11:22 PM EDT

ST PAUL, MN - FEBRUARY 7: Cory Schneider #35 of the Vancouver Canucks makes a stick side save on a shot by Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild as Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on during the first period on February 7, 2013 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

Thursday’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild was a story of two teams on diverging paths.

In Vancouver, there’s plenty of drama surrounding their goaltending situation, but on the ice they can seem to do no wrong lately.

Starting Roberto Luongo — who is supposedly on his way out — in four straight games raised eyebrows, but it worked. Luongo allowed just five goals over that stretch and the Canucks went 3-0-1.

On Thursday, Cory Schneider got his first chance to start in a week and a half and proceeded to turn aside 22 of 23 shots in Vancouver’s 4-1 victory.

The Minnesota Wild made changes before this contest too. The only difference is that they were the result of poor play and didn’t pay off.

Secondary scoring has been an ongoing issue for Minnesota this season, but lately even its stars haven’t been particularly effective.

Wild coach Mike Yeo tried to split up the team’s top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley. He also made rookie Mikael Granlund a healthy scratch and Devin Setoguchi was sent down to the fourth line.

All the same, the Wild were limited to a single goal for their third straight contest.

“This is a group that I have full confidence in that will pull out of this,” Yeo said, according to the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.

Vancouver now has a 6-2-2 record this season while Minnesota has dropped to 4-5-1.

  1. woodstakes - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    I for one was utterly disgusted by this game. Mostly because it was a true rivalry game and losing to the Canucks just seems to hurt more than others. I find myself being very critical about many things after this game. I just wanted to at least look like we belonged against them and we didn’t!! The 1st period was arguably the worst period they have played this year. It appeared like they were getting it going in the 2nd but didn’t score and instead gave up another goal.

    I really don’t know what the answer is right now. I certainly wasn’t expecting this team to dominate anyone of the Canucks/Hawks/Blues/Sharks/Ducks caliber, but I did expect them to at least look like they belonged on the same rink. Which they did vs Hawks/Blues but laid an egg vs the Ducks and Canucks.

    All I know is if I were one of the leaders of this team, namely (Koivu, Parise and Yeo) I would be letting everyone know that this team has prospects in the AHL that want to be up here on this team. So if this team wants to look at this year as a ‘rebuilding’ year then we will gladly call up all the young guys and you guys can compete for spots every week/game and give them the opportunity to be up and adjust to the game. Because if we are going to be a barely .500 team then we should be worried about the next 2-3 years not this year.

    No i’m not hitting the panic button, but this was a terrible showing against a team that you could have put a little doubt in their minds that they no longer own this division and all they did is let them know that they are still kings in the Northwest Division. I never really thought this team would win the division but I did think they could challenge and I did believe they would make the playoffs.

    I still do believe the playoffs are possible and even a challenge to the Canucks, but they need to get their heads out of their a** and start going back to the basics. Win the one on one battles, shot 1st not look for the perfect pass, crash the net and keep moving your feet. All those simple things translate into wins and this team is not doing it. Well, they have another shot at the Canucks on Tuesday I sure hope they decide to believe that they are better then they are playing and start doing what needs to be done to win!!

    • bigtganks - Feb 8, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      Dude. Your comment is longer than the story itself! Ha!

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Honestly I don’t think the Wild were as good last season as their record suggested and I don’t think that the Parise and Suter signings were the finishing touches on a team ready to contend.

      That being said those are obviously cornerstone players and with a beast like Koivu, a handful of great prospects (Coyle, Granlund, Dumba, Brodin, Cuma) and some good role players (Clutterbuck, Brodziak etc) they’ve got a lot of pieces they’ll need to be a competitive team in the west.

      A very good goaltender like Backstrom is a plus, although with the cap coming down they are going to have some real challenges retaining him and building depth (which is IMO their big problem) while remaining under the cap.

      If their salary structure is smartly managed and they can make some key signings to replace expiring contracts like Backstrom, Heatley, Bouchard and Setoguchi over the next couple of years they should be a strong team.

      For now I think they are still a work in progress, as exciting as their offseason might have been.

      • davebabychreturns - Feb 8, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        Sorry, I should say I don’t think the Wild were as good as their record before the injuries set in.

    • r4n6er - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      It has been ten games and you have an almost completely different team. Calm down and let them build some chemistry. Extra pressure from the fans only makes teams play worse. If I was a Wild fan I would chalk this already shortened season up to a fine-tuning experiment by your coaching staff.

      • rsmaggiemae - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        But you dont spend the money on tickets for the games..
        Its easy to say calm down…..
        I realize Rome was not built in a day, but get real, these are professinals

    • rsmaggiemae - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      I was at the sloppy game on Thursday nite, what a disaster. Maybe we should get Don Lucia to coach the Gophers and the Wild we might win more games. Yeo’s system is not working, he does not have the right players for his north-south system. I dont criticize Parise,Suter,Brodin,Coyle,Koivu and a few others but no else showed up for the game.
      Like I said before. they have to get rid of Bouchard who last nite pushed Vancouver players aways from him so he would not get hit hard again, he lost the puck twice to Vancouver, Brodziak passed the puck to Vancouver 5 times, right on the tape of thier sticks.
      Cullen is getting past his prime, and Heatly does not do much at all for 7.1 mil a year.
      I question Fletchers ability in some areas in getting this team together.
      He hires a inexperienced coach, and passes up Hitchcock,LaViolette and Tippett.
      He biggest faux pax was letting Nick Leddy go. what a huge mistake, but in my opinion he made another huge mistake in 2010 draft b y drafting Granland over Bjustad of the gophers, look at the size difference of Granland versus Bjustad who was drafted by Fla and you know they will never let him go…. Bjustad can play in the NHL now, and he has the size which the Wild need. what was he thinking of????
      The game has changed and you need bigger players in todays game.
      You need a PMD Puck moving defensemen. who can handle the puck and not get shoved around… I spend so much money on season tickets for the Gophers men and womens team, the Wild and high school games but my money is well spent on the Gophers and high school.
      Did the Wild notice in last nites game how Vancouver would just shoot the puck at the net but there was always 1-2 players on front of the net for a Garbage goal, we cant seem to get that into our players brain
      I am getting tired of the excuses made for some of thesr players. they are professionals, making big bucks and should know the game by now and Yeo;s so called system
      When they signed the two big players this July, it was great, but 2 players dont make the team and they have no depth at all on any of the other lines.
      I sold my tickets for the Predators game this weekend and instead going to St Could to see the Gophers play.
      Bring up Zucker,Phillips, Larrson from Houston, let them get experienec. even if the team loses, at least they will try to win and get it thier all which is more than some of the players do now on the team.
      I am critical, becuz tickets are expensive for the Wild and in fact more expensive than almost the same seat in Philly where I lived for several years
      I feel sorry for Parise and Suter as I doubt we will make the playoffs this year./
      How is Fletcher going to get rid of some of these players who still have time left on thier contracts when they cant score??? Bochard and Cullens contracts are up this year and I would assume they will be gone. Heatly has one more year left at 7.1 mil a year….
      Brodziak just signed for 3 years so what do you do with him and Setaguchhi????
      I know I am critical, but I am really,really tired of all the excuses… If you performed like this at your job every day, do you think you would have your job for long???
      I never was a fan of Yeo and his system as it just cant work here with the players he has.
      Dont the players like him??? do they not like his system??? something is wrong with this picture of the Wild…
      There is a player for the Univ of Nebr-Omaha 6’8″ 240 D man named Systar who has not vbeen drafted by anyone in the NHL and you know he must be good to play on Dean Blaise team..duh

  2. rainyday56 - Feb 8, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Minnesota would be a great place for a major league hockey franchise. They should get one.

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Lame. Pretty sure they put down $200m this past offseason on high end players, as a Canucks fan I don’t recall ever beating them in the playoffs, it’s not like we’re talking about some Mickey Mouse franchise.

    • rsmaggiemae - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      I live in Minnesota and I agree with you, I am so disgusted with the coach and the team

  3. mikeincmn - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:16 AM

    Mike Yeo might wanna be looking at putting whatever real estate he has in Minnesota up for sale soon.

  4. hagigun - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Wild fans need to get real. Vancouver is not a “Rivalry” game. Maybe for us loser Wild fans it is. The Canucks are in the post season every year. They play meaningful games in the summer months. They have deep playoff runs. They have made cup finals. Some ancient 2003 playoff series with Bertuzzi, Naslund, and co. are distant memories. We are acting like Packer fans talking about NFL titles from eons ago.

    The fact is we have no rivals because we don’t have anything meaningful to play for…ever! You create and sustain rivalries in the post-season. It’s just another road game for the Canucks against some slappy team in the NW division that they dominate year after year.

    What a bad game. The worst part is it contained 15mn of the best hockey we have played all season. Chance after chance, sustained pressure and yet we still can’t score. It’s just frustrating because we are the same squad as last year…the same squad as the last 13 years. We just can not score goals.

    I guess the old saying is true, “it’s not about the name on the back of your jersey, it’s the name on the front.” No matter who suits up for us, Parise, Gretzky, Hull…the results will still be 1 goal for the Wild.


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