Cory Schneider was sent down today to allow Luongo to get back in the lineup, but Cory on his trip up with the big team did something he’s failed to do in all his other appearances. He shone. The goaltending prospect stood on his head to do everything he could to ensure a win for the Canucks and the Canucks let him down in his one and only showing against the Stars.
Schneider likely won’t have many other opportunities to impress, especially if Luongo stays healthy for the remainder of the season. Last year when Schneider got called up he did not look ready. He had a record below .500 when starting for the Canucks and there were many times when he looked clearly out of place in the NHL; One particular instance being a shootout against Colorado where he let in all 3 shots in a loss to the avalanche. This however his only chance may have changed his fate with the team.
Raycroft’s play, indicative of what he’s really capable of, is an indication that he’s not the same Andrew Raycroft that played in Colorado last season. In fact, as is the case with most backups to Luongo, they have one year on the bench and then go on to find bigger and better things a la Labarbera, Sanford, and Sabourin. My money is on him walking after the season on numbers which will earn him a salary he’d much rather have than the league minimum he’s earning right now.
If Schneider gets any other opportunities it could be his key to a roster spot with the Canucks. Cap issues aside, Schneider needs to be eased into the NHL. His contract is up after this season, and if the Canucks are backup-less come July, which is very likely, and Schneider has made his case that he’s a legitimate NHL goalie, the youngster might still be able to make the team on a one or two year deal. Now fitting him under the cap becomes a totally different story, especially with key free agents like Kesler and Mitchell taking priority this off season, but Schneider’s showing against Dallas just might have been the last chance he’ll get to make a case for himself.