Coach Alain Vigneault calls Cory Schneider the Canucks' MVP and gives him Game 4 start
"Cory in my opinion is our MVP," coach says after this morning's game-day skate at HP Pavilion
Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider takes a water break during Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference quarter-final series at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The Vancouver Canucks will be counting on a bounce-back game from goalie Schneider tonight when they try to extend their season by winning Game 4 of their best-of-seven playoff series against the San Jose Sharks.
Photograph by: Christian Petersen, Getty Images
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Vancouver Canucks will be counting on a bounce-back game from goalie Cory Schneider tonight (7 p.m., TSN, Team 1040) when they try to extend their season by winning Game 4 of their best-of-seven playoff series against the San Jose Sharks.
Following Schneider's struggles in the third period of Game 3, there had been some debate about who coach Alain Vigneault would start tonight.
Vigneault suggested today it was not a difficult decision to make.
"Cory in my opinion is our MVP," Vigneault said after this morning's game-day skate at HP Pavilion. "He is one of the reasons why we got into the playoffs. He has had great bounce-back games and he has been outstanding this year and I think our group has total faith in both goaltenders.
"But they have a lot of faith in Cory and I have got a lot of faith in him. That's why we are going with him tonight."
Schneider surrendered three quick goals in the third period Sunday night as the Sharks skated to a 5-2 win that gave them a 3-0 stranglehold on the series. Schneider insisted he has put that performance behind him.
"It's only an after-thought and I haven't really thought about it much since," he said. "New day, new game, different circumstances. I am feeling fine."
"I think Cory, the whole team and myself have moved on past that," added Vigneault. "We are focused on tonight, we are focused on how we need to execute on the ice against a team that is playing extremely well right now. We have to win one game, I believe we can win one game."
The Canucks believe their success tonight lies on playing a disciplined game and not allowing the San Jose power play an opportunity to be the difference-maker. The Sharks scored three power-play goals in Game 3.
"Again, five-on-five I think we have been good in this series so far," Vigneault said. "We need to be good five-on-five, stay on the ice and give ourselves a real chance to win."
Not surprisingly, there was some fallout this morning from Kevin Bieksa's comments on Monday accusing San Jose forwards Joe Thornton and Logan Couture of embellishment.
"They used that word embellish and I haven't heard that for a while," said San Jose coach Todd McLellan. "In fact, I think it was in vogue a couple of springs ago."
Two years ago, of course, the Canucks were hearing a little something about embellishment during their run to the Stanley Cup final.
"If we go back now to look at the series, we have been called cheaters after Game 1, we have been called embellishing Canadians after Game 3," added McLellan. "If the series goes deeper we may even be accused of biting eventually. In all seriousness I don't take any offence to it. But if I was an official I probably would. I think they have questioned the integrity of the linesmen after Game 1 and now the integrity of the referees after Game 3. But no offence taken by us."
Couture and Thornton did not have much to say this morning. But fellow forward Adam Burish, who has some history with the Canucks dating back to his time with the Chicago Blackhawks, had lots to say.
"To be honest I don't think we're worrying about what he is saying," Burish said. "I guess if I was him while he is up on his soap box and trying to save the integrity of the game and doing all that stuff, I'd swing by player No. 14 (Alex Burrows) and player No. 17 (Ryan Kesler), the Beast, and have a little talk with them, too, about diving and the integrity kind of thing.
"Then he can work his way over to our room, but I'd start with those two guys in his room. . . .In our room we're going to worry about our guys and what we've got to do and how we can be better and not worry about the integrity of the game and having props in our interviews and acting like a lawyer with video evidence and all that stuff. We're not worried about that stuff."
Bieksa was the lone Canuck not to skate this morning. Vigneault did say Bieksa will play tonight.
INJURIES: The Canucks will be without D Chris Tanev (ankle) and LW David Booth (ankle). . .The Sharks are expected to be missing D Jason Demers (lower body) and RW Martin Havlat (lower body).
ICE CHIPS: Vigneault said he was contemplating one lineup change at forward but would not elaborate. Centre Jordan Schroeder has been practising with the team and could possibly be inserted into the lineup tonight. . .Injured defenceman Chris Tanev skated Tuesday for the second straight day. . .If the Canucks can force a Game 5, it would go 7 p.m. Thursday night at Rogers Arena.
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