VANCOUVER -- This wasn't the start the Vancouver Canucks envisioned.
With a veteran group returning mostly intact and coming off consecutive Presidents' Trophies as the NHL's top regular season club, the Canucks were counting on continuity and experience to contribute to a strong start.
Instead they were blown out 7-3 by Anaheim in the opener Saturday before blowing a two-goal lead in a 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton on Sunday.
There are already questions about a defensive corps that was supposed to be the deepest -- if not the best -- in the NHL. And their new No. 1 Cory Schneider didn't make it through two periods before surrendering the goal to the man he deposed in last year's playoffs, leading to early rumblings of a crease controversy.
Roberto Luongo, who took over for Schneider on Saturday and stayed in goal on Sunday, quickly dismissed such talk after 30 saves against the Oilers. At least the Canucks can still count on the strong friendship between their goalies.
"No matter what the roles are this year, or in the past, it's important that we got each other's backs," said Luongo, who was among the many that expected he'd never play another game for the Canucks after Schneider took his job in the playoffs and then received a new three-year, $12-million contract. "We both play for the Vancouver Canucks and we both want to win games as a team."