Would the Canucks have won Tuesday with Luongo in net?
There was one amusing hypothetical question arising from Vancouver’s 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rogers Arena Tuesday night.
Would the Vancouver Canucks have won that game had Roberto Luongo played goal? That question is as unfair as it is unanswerable, but when you consider how well Cory Schneider played again and got a lot of luck he later admitted to in the bargain, you have to be a little dubious about that outcome.
Clearly the Canucks might have been a little more aggressive offensively had they given up more goals on the defensive end, as much of the night they seemed fairly content to perch on their two-goal lead. And the evidence of that was provided by Ryan Kesler, who scored less than two minutes after Samuel Pahlsson had given Columbus some hope in the third period when he scored shorthanded when the Canucks dozed off in their own end on the power play.
So it just might be that Luongo would have been hot or that the Canucks would have produced more offence on demand, but there is absolutely no doubt Schneider is in that happy zone where goalies ‘have all the answers’ in his words. And that has to be good news for this team enjoying an absolute obscenity of riches at the position, the best in franchise history. Yes even better than Gary Smith and Ken ‘Spider’ Lockett you old timers. The very thought of someone as good as Luongo taking a back seat even temporarily is something other teams can only dream about.
Schneider was the picture of positioning on this night, stopping shots from every conceivable direction, bang-bang rebounds, shots along the goal line, you name it. To go through them all would take the rest of the section and it would appear this type of goaltending is going to be required to keep winning given the rain of 48 Columbus shots and the fact Sami Salo left the game after the second period with yet another groin injury in his long and tortured career, It left Kevin Bieksa as the lone right handed shot on the roster back there, although he purported it made no difference how players shoot the puck if they’re doing things properly.