Who’s Canucks No. 1 goalie? Roberto Luongo … at least right now (With video)
Netminder to make his third straight start Saturday vs. Red Wings, but both goalies draw kudos for TV skit
Vancouver Canuck goaltenders Cory Schneider (left) and Roberto Luongo tagged up for a funny, between-periods intermission feature on TSN during Thursday night's Canucks-Nashville Predators game at Rogers Arena. Come Saturday, though, it will again be Luongo in the spotlight when he starts against the visiting Detroit Red Wings.
Photograph by: Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider had fun doing it and received a great response to the hilarious skit they did for TSN about their battle over who really is the No. 1 goaltender with the Vancouver Canucks.
Even their coach, Alain Vigneault, loved it.
"My girls showed it to me last night when I got home," Vigneault said Friday of the James Duthie-inspired feature that aired between periods of Thursday night's game. "It was pretty good."
But right now, all kidding aside, it appears Luongo is No. 1.
This is, as Vigneault is so fond of saying, a performance-based business. Luongo has thus far been the better of the two goaltenders and he will make his third straight start Saturday night when the Canucks play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Arena (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1040).
"I just feel right now it's the right call," Vigneault said after Friday's practice.
Luongo has won his last two starts, a 2-1 shootout win in Columbus on Tuesday night and a 7-4 decision over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night at Rogers Arena.
It's really all about wins and losses now. Luongo's record (7-2-3) is better than Schneider's (6-5-3) and his goals-against-average is nearly half a goal better: 2.23 vs. 2.63.
"He has been good," Vigneault said of Luongo. "It was a great goaltending performance by both goaltenders in Columbus. He gave us the extra point in the shootout by being better than the other goaltender.
“(Thursday) night was a funny game. You have two elite goaltenders battling one another and there are some nights when the puck just won't go in and there are some other nights where everything you throw at the net finds a way to go in."
Vigneault suggested Luongo was the victim of a couple of bad bounces Thursday night.
His decision to go with Luongo is a tad surprising, given that Luongo was in goal when the Red Wings defeated the Canucks 8-3 at Joe Louis Arena on Feb. 24.
Luongo is highly motivated to beat the Red Wings on Saturday night, when the Canucks will be wearing their vintage Vancouver Millionaires jerseys.
"It's a good chance for myself and the team to get back at it and erase what was a pretty painful game," Luongo said. "It doesn't really matter that it's Detroit. At the end of the day you want to play well and you want to win. But at the same time it's a game that is fresh in our memory and it might give us some extra jump."
Schneider, who was not aware who was getting the start Saturday night when he walked into the dressing room after Friday's practice, took the news in stride.
"We're in the business of winning hockey games and I had three games in a row there and only got a couple of overtime points," he said. "Right now we need wins and Lou has won two in a row and has played really well and given us a chance in each game.
"So I think it's something where you have to stick with the hot hand and like I said, we have seen this before. We're back and forth, two or three (starts) here, and you always have to be sharp and be ready. We've got four (games) in six (nights) and three in four this week so I'm pretty sure I'll be back in there sooner or later."
Luongo and Schneider were both pleased with the way the TSN feature, which was taped last Friday in Columbus, turned out.
"I have watched it a few times and even when you know what's going on it's pretty funny to see when it's all put together," Luongo said. "And the out-takes are pretty funny, too."
Schneider joked about the experience being a difficult one.
"It was painful, I hated every second of it," he said. "I can't work with the guy … No, it was great. It was a lot of fun. James Duthie did a good job, made it fun and light-hearted and like I said this is kind of how we have both viewed this whole situation the whole time.
"Not as a joke, but we have sort of made light of it … we don't take it too seriously, we take our jobs seriously and what we do and competing, but that is pretty much how we are off the ice."
Schneider thinks it's good for players to let fans see them as real people.
"Sometimes it's tough to showcase your personality and what you really feel and how you are and that's a good thing for fans to see," he said. "We're pretty light-hearted, we're pretty laid back and we like to have fun. You can't play this game without having fun and I think people enjoy that. We have got a lot of good feedback."
Vigneault said both players deserve credit for handling the situation so well.
"Give them both full marks," he said. "This is a game, it is supposed to be fun. There are different situations within a team that sometimes can be challenging depending on your attitude and how you look at it. They made that a real neat thing. Give them both credit. They are great people, they get along real well and I think that probably proved it to everybody."
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