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Luongo to start ‘big game’ versus Wild

Mar 18, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo Getty Images

A surprise in some ways, not so much in others — Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo will start tonight at home against the Wild in the biggest game of the season for both teams.

It’s a surprise decision from head coach Alain Vigneault in that Luongo has surrendered nine goals in his last two starts, including five on 26 shots in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Red Wings.

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s other goalie, Cory Schneider, hasn’t played since March 10 in a 4-2 loss at Minnesota.

Vigneault’s decision isn’t surprising in that Luongo has played very well against the Wild recently. Courtesy TSN’s Farhan Lalji, the 33-year-old is 10-0-1 with a .949 save percentage in his last 11 home starts versus Minnesota.

The Canucks and Wild are tied in the standings with 32 points; however, the Wild have the tie-breaker for first place in the Northwest Division based on regulation/overtime wins.

“This is a big game for us,” said Luongo. “We’re all aware of what the standings are like.”

Regardless of what happens tonight, it shouldn’t be long before Schneider plays again, as the Canucks have nine games in the next 15 days.

Vancouver hosts St. Louis tomorrow.

  1. elvispocomo - Mar 18, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Can’t fault the decision based on his history against Minny when playing in Vancouver. Schneider will surely get the second game of the back to back and then I guess we’ll see from there.

    • mp1131211 - Mar 18, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      This isn’t really the same Wild that he’s dominated in the past. The offense is clicking and they are getting a ton of shots on goal every game.

  2. mathieug79 - Mar 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Wow after 3 straight games, they keep shoving luongo in the net. great decision by Vancouver staff…trying to make his values go up, but really all it does is bringing it down! Now unfortunately for Vancouver they will need to trade Schneider instead….or keep both. In other words they will have to trade draft picks/prospects fill their roster for a playoff push.

  3. canucks30 - Mar 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Everybody chill out, Luongo’s got this

    • lordfletcher - Mar 18, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      I’ll take that bet. The Wild have been playing VERY good hockey, probably the best hockey I have seen them play in 12 years.

      Lou, will have to stand on his head to keep the Wild from scoring less than 3 tonight…. he is capable but I’d be surprised (not shocked but surprised) if he keeps Minnesota from scoring 2 goals or less.

      Suter for the Norris

      • lordfletcher - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        looks like I will be eating crow here but my goodness, the ref’s are not making this a fair fight tonight…. Wild are not helping themselves playing in their own end but still

        one of the sister’s has been diving and Borrows (no shocker there), missed high stick to the face and yada yada yada. Good call on the soft hook against Zucker tho….. and as I type this the Wild finally get their first PP chance. go figure

        rant over :)

  4. blomfeld - Mar 18, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    WHACKIER THAN BC POLITICS !

    Despite being an ardent and loyal fan of the reigning Stanley Cup champions, Vancouver is my home and therefore I follow the Canucks more than any other professional sports team, my beloved LA Kings included. And then there’s the issue of one of my ex’s being a business partner together with the wife of a Canuck legend. The bottom line is that we are “not” all Canucks as the propaganda machine here would have you believe. Yet they sure keeping producing some wonderful story lines and if nothing else, it’s downright amusing.

    But seriously, how in the hell does Vigneault even have the nerve to treat Cory Schneider in such a malicious and ungrateful manner? Of course we know why Luongo keeps getting special treatment like this … but really? Contrary to the promises made to him, Schneider’s thus far been completely “denied” in terms of a clean canvass on which to paint his own legacy. And that’s wrong. In fact the poor man can’t let his guard down for even a second, what with Vigneault always holding the gun of a “smirking” Luongo to his head.

    Therefore my hope for tonight is that Luongo get’s lit up like some cheap “Made in China” Christmas tree and that Vigneault’s malicious ways come crashing down on the both of them. And if Parise and Suter have any say in the matter, which they do, then trust me there’s an excellent chance of this happening … God willing.

    Hang in there Cory, stay strong and don’t ever let them get you down …

    • valoisvipers - Mar 18, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      WHACKIER THAN BC BUD TOO!
      Good post Blomfeld

  5. habsman - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    You’re no Habs fan with a remark like that.

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