Roberto Luongo era done for Canucks?

When practice ended Tuesday, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider met near centre ice. They kneeled together, and enjoyed each other, talking and laughing.

In the eye of the storm, it was a long, loose, pressure-free moment.

But was it their last?

Head coach Alain Vigneault said he had decided on his starter for Game 4. He wasn’t, however, ready to announce it. The wind was blowing Cory Schneider’s way. He took almost all the action in practice leading up to the win-or-go-home game, and that’s been an indicator during the year he’s being tapped.

A Schneider nod would be tangible evidence suggesting we may have seen the end of the Luongo era in Vancouver. A year ago, this scenario would have seemed unfathomable to some. Luongo was the former captain, with the huge contract, the long resumé and status as the cornerstone of the team.

So much so, Schneider admitted this week he was caught off guard last year when he was told he was starting Game 6 in Chicago.

“It sort of surprised me that they would turn to me in that situation,” Schneider said. “I felt good about it, but I wasn’t necessarily expecting it. It taught me to be ready for anything. This year, starting more big games and getting more action than in the past, it helped me understand how valuable I can be to this team and that I shouldn’t view myself as a backup goalie.”

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