This summer and this fall it was crazy in Canada. I was up there working for NHL Network, and I saw and read the press regarding the Vancouver Canucks goalie situation. In the end, by the time the season had started, everyone handled it the right way. Roberto Luongo handled it right, Cory Schneider handled it right, they didn't give the media any fuel, and now, as Luongo gets ready to make his fourth straight start, it looks like the situation has been settled on the ice -- the way it should be. Luongo has been the best goaltender, he plays the games.
Now, I think it's pretty clear at this point that Luongo is the No. 1 goaltender. In the last three games he's started, he's 2-0-1 with three goals against, a shutout and a .963 save percentage. Overall, his save percentage and goals-against average are the second-best in the League. I think he's taken over the job and there's just no way they can trade him now because coach Alain Vigneault just isn't playing the other guy. Right now, when wins are so important, he's going to Luongo.
You have to remember that it's not what they say, it's what they do. They can say he's not the No. 1 goaltender, but if he's playing three games in a row, he's the No. 1 goaltender.
Many people are probably surprised that Luongo might have won back his job and won it back this quickly, but he's a professional athlete, and while he kept his mouth shut and handled this whole situation very professionally, he's very proud like every professional athlete is. He's not going to take losing his job quietly. Of course, he didn't cause any problems. He didn't demand to be traded tomorrow, but he did his talking on the ice. That's all you can do when you're a pro. He's outplayed Schneider, he's earned the No. 1 job, and Vancouver, because they didn't pull off a trade, might be the luckiest team in the League right now.
Colorado Avalanche winger Milan Hejduk plays his 1,000th NHL game and Roberto Luongo makes his 4th consecutive start for the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night. Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, has those stories and much more.
We have another guest whose dad, Ray Bourque, is a Boston legend -- now Chris Bourque is trying to make his own mark in Beantown. Chris will tell us what it felt like to score his first goal as a Bruin.
NHL Network Insider Bob McKenzie will join the show to talk about his mid-season NHL Draft Rankings. We will also have NHL Network Analyst Barry Melrose to preview some West Coast hockey.
Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL. And also keep an eye on this Senior Reporter's dance moves in his EJ5: Hradek’s Top 5 Thoughts of the Day with a Super Bowl twist today.
The Red Wings' defense corps has been hit hard by injuries. Smith will be the sixth blueliner to miss time due to injury already this season.
Smith is second on the Wings with a plus-4 rating, and he has one assist in eight games.
Marchand crashed awkwardly into the boards midway through the second period of Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and did not return. Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the game that Marchand had been removed for precautionary reasons and that he could have played in the third period if the Bruins were "in a pinch."
Marchand leads the Bruins with five goals in eight games.
The initial diagnosis was for Callahan to miss 10-14 days.
"It definitely could have been a lot worse than it was," Callahan said last Thursday when he learned of the diagnosis.
Luongo, 33, stopped 27 of 28 shots on home ice Friday night in Vancouver's 2-1 shootout win against the Chicago Blackhawks. That victory came two nights after Luongo blanked the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-0 victory. He is 2-0-2 with a 1.46 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in five games.
Cory Schneider, who was labeled the club's No. 1 goaltender prior to the start of the season, hasn't seen any action since allowing four goals on 27 shots in a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 27. Schneider has a 3.13 GAA and .897 save percentage in four appearances.
Luongo has been the subject of trade rumors for several months. Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was in Washington on Sunday afternoon to watch the Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
At 6:30 of the second period in the Bruins/Maple Leafs game, the situation room initiated a review because the puck went into the Maple Leafs net. The referee was in the process of whistling the play dead following the incidental contact between Brad Marchand and James Reimer and prior to the puck entering the net because Reimer was unable to play his position following the contact. This is not a reviewable play.
At 13:04 of the second period in the Rangers/Lightning game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Tampa Bay forward B.J. Crombeen batted the puck with his stick above the crossbar into the net. According to Rule 60.5 "An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick." No Goal Tampa Bay.
CALGARY -- The Chicago Blackhawks will try to snap their two-game losing streak against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, but they’ll have to do so without center Dave Bolland.
Bolland, who has three goals and four points in eight games this season, suffered a lower-body injury in the third period of Chicago's 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday and is day-to-day according to coach Joel Quenneville
"Bolly's out tonight," Quenneville said, adding he will continue to travel with the team to San Jose, where they face the Sharks on Tuesday.
"You're always concerned about the worst but he's not doing too bad today."
Bolland was anchoring the second line with Bryan Bickell andPatrick Kane. Not wanting to shake up his roster too much, Quenneville suggestedAndrew Shaw will be promoted to the second line while Marcus Kruger would also be promoted up the chart.
"We don't want to mix up too much if the lines," he said. "We'll probably move everybody up a line at center. Shawsy will probably move up in that spot. Krug's move up so everybody get maybe a little more quality."
Bolland's injury could mark the return of Jamal Mayers to the lineup. If Mayers does indeed draw in, he'll be skating in his 900th career National Hockey League game.
"He's had a nice career, the ultimate pro," Quenneville said. "It's not easy when you've got to sit a guy out like that knowing the leadership he brings your team, the way he competes and the experience factor. He's been handling it OK, but I know inside he wants to be playing in the worst way and it's nice to see him get back in the lineup"
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Hockey means everything to people here [Winnipeg]. They take their team's success to heart. We've had an incredible year and they've given us incredible support.