The Vancouver Canucks need a win like never before and they’ll have Cory Schneider in goal to help back the team to that victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarter-Final Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Schneider will start in net with the Canucks looking for their first victory of the series. He wouldn’t comment on why he’s opting to start Schneider over Roberto Luongo, who was in goal for Games 1 & 2, and in the end either choice would have made sense.
“Goaltending has not been the issue for us this year and in this series, we’ve had great goaltending, so whichever decision I made would have been the right one,” said Vigneault. “Without getting into the specifics of why Cory is playing tonight, I’m confident that he’s going to have a good game and that he’s going to play real hard.”
Schneider can only stop goals, he can’t score them and with the Canucks coming off a 1-0 blanking at the hands of Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3, obviously scoring early and often is key.
It’s looking more and more like Daniel Sedin will be in the line-up to help boost Vancouver’s offence.
He practiced with the Canucks Wednesday morning and said afterward he hasn’t experienced any symptoms of late and fully expects to play in Game 4.
Daniel will take the pre-game warm-up before meeting with Vancouver’s team doctors one final time before a decision is made.
“I’m going to wait until tonight to decide, but I felt good this morning,” said Daniel, adding that if he plays, it’s because he’s 100 per cent ready to return.
“We’ll see how AV uses me, but once you’re out there you want to play as much as you can, that’s always been my case.”
The Canucks are no longer taking this series a game at a time, it’s now a shift at a time and a minute-by-minute approach in an attempt to piece together their best game of the season.
Do that and this series could be going back to Vancouver for Game 5 Sunday night.
“We’re in a big hole, that’s for sure, there’s no question about that,” said Daniel. “We’re going to take it game-by-game, that’s all we can worry about, if we play like we did last game, we’re going to have a chance to win this game, regardless of who’s in the line-up.”
If Daniel Sedin is able to play, coach Vigneault said Dale Weise will be a healthy scratch.
For Schneider, who is starting consecutive playoff games for the first time in his career, the approach is the same as it always is and he said he’ll be ready to deliver come game time.
“Obviously this one is do or die for us, but as a goalie it’s hard to do anything different than what you normally do. It’s not a situation where you can go out and throw a few big hits to get into the game, you have to be reactive and let the play come to you and be sharp.”
Schneider plans to keep it simple, much like he did in allowing just a single goal in Game 3.
“It’s not just another game, but you can’t psych yourself out, you can’t try to do too much. Every game I’ve played at this level it’s been a battle and I want to play a perfect game every time and that doesn’t change in the playoffs.”