Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/25/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
VANCOUVER -- Roberto Luongo's long goodbye from the Vancouver Canucks took yet another twist Wednesday as the team revealed Cory Schneider has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
As a result, Luongo will start Vancouver's final home regular-season game tonight against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks -- after many fans and media types wondered whether he had already played his last game at Rogers Arena.
"Hopefully, he'll be back soon," said Luongo. "And, in the meantime, it's my job to play the way he's been playing."
Schneider was long ago anointed as the playoff starter when he displaced Luongo as Vancouver's No. 1 netminder in the 2011-12 post-season.
Luongo's start comes as the Canucks are preparing for the playoffs after having clinched the Northwest Division title.
The former Canucks captain is expected to leave Vancouver via trade or contract buyout in the off-season. He was expected to be traded last summer after Schneider displaced him as the starter in the playoffs, and the Canucks did not get the deal they wanted at the trading deadline, either.
Schneider, a 27-year-old Marblehead, Mass., native played in Vancouver's past two games as the Canucks clinched a playoff spot and then their fifth straight Northwest Division title with wins over Chicago and Detroit.
He has posted a 17-9-4 record this season with a 2.11 goals-against average.
While fans get at least one opportunity to bid Luongo adieu in an otherwise meaningless home finale, since it's already known the Canucks will have the third playoff seed in the Western Conference, the former No. 1 netminder was not ready to get sentimental.
"From (the fans' side) if they want to see it that way, well so be it," said Luongo. "But, for me, obviously, I'm focused on playing. We've got the Ducks here to finish the year and, obviously, the playoffs -- which is the most important thing -- are around the corner.
"I want to make sure that, for myself included, we're ready to get that going."
Still, Luongo, who sports a 9-4-record and a 2.34 goals-against average, could not help but marvel as his likely final season in Vancouver took another unexpected turn.
"It's pretty amazing, isn't it?" he said. "That being said, it seems we've still got a little ways to go before it's over. So we're going to enjoy it for the time being and see where (the post-season) takes us."
Accordingly, Luongo is savouring ever chance he gets to make another start with the team for which he has toiled since 2005-06 and helped reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2010-11.
"You cherish (the starts), you know?" he said. "Especially, when (the days with the Canucks) are numbered, right?"
The Canucks called up Joe Cannata from the AHL's Chicago Wolves to back up Luongo against the Ducks. Coach Alain Vigneault said Schneider was injured in Monday's win over Chicago, which he completed without any apparent difficulties.
But the coach was not offering any information on the nature of his injury.
"He's got the body injury that's day-to-day," said Vigneault, drawing guffaws.
The coach indicated that there was no pre-playoff subterfuge involved in Schneider's absence.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 25, 2013 D4
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Seguin, Andersen and Stamkos named 3 stars
Voynov suspended after domestic violence arrest
Stars place Nichushkin on injured reserve
Andersen gets 1st shutout as Ducks blank Blues 3-0
Rangers net 2 in 4 seconds; Lundqvist stops Sharks
Drouin recalled by Tampa Bay Lightning
Quick, LA Kings edge Wild 2-1 for 4th straight win
Canucks assign centre Horvat to Utica
Stamkos shines as Lightning down Canucks 4-2
Tampa Bay's Hedman leaves game with injury
Toews scores in OT as Blackhawks beat Predators
Schwartz gets hat trick, Blues rout Coyotes 6-1
Giroux scores in OT to lift Flyers past Stars, 6-5
Saturday's NHL Capsules
Canucks' sellout streak snapped at 474 games
Zetterberg lifts Red Wings past Maple Leafs in OT
Capitals score 3 goals in SO, beat Panthers 2-1
Hoffman scores winner as Senators edge Blue Jackets
Couture goal, 2 assists, Niemi stops 35 shots
Penguins hand Islanders 1st loss of season, 3-1
Svedberg earns shutout in Bruins' win over Sabres
Beyond the inside of hockey
Sabres make Reinhart a healthy scratch
Bruins' Lucic apologizes for obscene gesture
How to gauge the 'real' impact of an injury
Ducks rally past Wild 2-1 for 4th straight win
Miller stops 28 shots as Canucks blank Oilers 2-0
Predators' Rinne in form with 2-0 SO at Jets
Leafs have listless effort in loss to Wings
Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets hold off Flames 3-2
Panthers' Luongo gets 67th shutout, 1-0 vs Sabres
Penguins' Dupuis returns to ice after incident
NHL bringing 2016 All-Star game to Nashville
Leafs defenceman Gardiner returns to lineup
LA Kings' Quick blanks Blues for 1-0 shootout win
Bruins refuse to panic after slow start
Bruins goalie Rask unfazed by laser pointer