Jan 062012
 

[Two-Line Pass is a discussion, or even a debate, between two hockey bloggers on some of the hottest topics in Canucks Nation and the NHL.]

Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks

Photo credit: Vancouver Sun

From: JJ Guerrero
To: Elizabeth Moffat
Sent: Friday, 6 January, 2012 13:19:25

Hi Lizz,

So the Canucks have tapped Cory Schneider as their starting goaltender in tomorrow morning’s game against the Boston Bruins. I swear I haven’t seen such a divisive reaction since Team Edward vs. Team Jacob.

It’s a surprising decision to say the least. The Canucks have always maintained that Roberto Luongo is its number 1 goalie. So why isn’t he starting in its only game this season against the best team in the league and the team that beat them in the Stanley Cup Finals?

J.J.

*****

From: Elizabeth Moffat
To: JJ Guerrero
Sent: Friday, 6 January, 2012 13:38:56

Hi JJ,

First off, 12-year-olds are crazy. There should be no debate between Edward and Jacob. Jacob is a hot wolf who will keep you warm at night; Edward is a pale emo whiner who will stalk you and watch you sleep. Plus he’s like 100 – I’m pretty sure that’s a felony.

Luo still is our number one goalie. That’s why he’s started in nine of the last ten games. I’ll admit I was expecting a Luongo start, but when you consider the reasons it makes sense.

It’s Schneider’s hometown, and he’s never gotten the start there, giving it to him now is an easy way for the team to say they trust and respect him. Kids dream of this moment.

Unless Schneider is content to remain a backup for the next three to five years and take a bargain of a contract, he’s going to be leaving sooner rather than later. Boston will be full of scouts and a good show could serve up some excellent trade bait.

Assuming Luo is “scared” of the Bruins – which I don’t think he is – what good will playing him really do? It’s not Chicago, this isn’t a personal dragon he needs to slay, and even if the Canucks do make it back to the Finals there are 14 other teams they could come up against before having to play Boston.

Lizz

*****

From: JJ Guerrero
To: Elizabeth Moffat
Sent: Friday, 6 January, 2012 14:52:37

Hi Lizz,

The Canucks finally slayed the Chicago dragon, but it took them a couple of playoff series in 2009 and 2010, plus 7 hard-fought, first round series games last year.

In Luo’s last 3 playoff appearances in Bahs-ton, he allowed 15 goals. If the road to the Stanley Cup goes through the city that brought us NKOTB – and right now it looks like a very good possibility it will – you’d think the Canucks would want to give him every opportunity to rebuild his confidence in playing there. There’s no better time for them to do this too as he’s coming off a shutout and has been playing lights out in goal in the last couple of months – he has a 14-5-2 record and a 0.931 save percentage in his 21 games since the start of November.

I understand that Schneider is from nearby Marblehead; and after 5 years, he has yet to play in front of family and friends in his hometown so it’s entirely believable if Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault said they simply wanted to afford Schneider the same opportunity they do Luongo whenever the Canucks play in Montreal. But they’ve always made decisions with the big picture in mind, and in this case, the bigger picture has a big shiny Cup – a Cup the team has never won – in the hands of the Boston Bruins. It has to be more important for them to know that Luongo can indeed slay the dragon in Boston like he was able to do in Chicago.

J.J.

*****

From: Elizabeth Moffat
To: JJ Guerrero
Sent: Friday, 6 January, 2012 16:01:25

If we’re looking at the big picture, then the team can’t be planning to face one specific team six months from now. They need to be looking at what they need to do tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that that will ensure they’re ready for another long playoff run. If not giving Luo a symbolic re-do will help acheive that, then that’s what needs to happen.

If the Canucks make it back to the Finals this year, it won’t be because Luongo was able to exercise some demons. Likewise, if they don’t, it won’t be because Schneider had some hometown fun one weekend in January.

The Canucks didn’t lose in the Finals last year solely because Luongo couldn’t win in Boston or in game 7. They didn’t score a single goal on June 15th – now that is something we should be talking about.

Sure, it’d be nice to know that Luongo is capable of beating Tim Thomas, but no one demands to know if he can beat the Rangers or the Flyers every year. Boston may be winning the East, but have you seen who’s in third? The Florida Panthers. Should the Canucks also be tailoring their game to face them in the Finals?

Winning tomorrow won’t bring us the Cup or erase what happened last June. Sure there’s pride at stake, and I’m sure Luongo was biting at the bit to play in Boston, but remove the emotion and you know what you have? A 10:00 AM midseason game against an Eastern Conference team that most of Vancouver didn’t really care about a year ago. Win or lose, no one is coming home with anything more substantial than two points.

Lizz

%d bloggers like this: