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Canucks Report - Luongo still week to week

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

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Roberto Luongo spoke at GM Place for the first time since leaving the ice 20 minutes into the Canucks team practice last Wednesday. Reports say he suffered setbacks in the rehab process during a 3-on-3 scrimmage last week at practice.

"I just got into a situation where the groin wasn't feeling the way I wanted it to," Luongo told the media today. "There wasn't any point to keep on skating so I decided to get off the ice."

His status currently remains at week-to-week despite rumblings last week that said he could return as early as last night's game in Edmonton. The progression was stated to be ahead of schedule but Wednesday's scrimmage proved that the more dynamic practice sessions were tougher than anticipated once he left the controlled one-on-one sessions with goaltending consultant, Ian Clark.

"Everyday I was making good progress, steady progress and as long as I can get through the workout and not feel any discomfort then come back to the arena the next day and feeling good, i'll just keep on moving. That's where we were up to that point and that just wasn't a good day that day."

Luongo, who rarely misses a start by choice is eager to get back but know he's got to be careful in the rehab process this time around, in order to prevent a future injury.

"I'm a competitor and you guys know I am. I want to be in goal everyday and play on the ice. Call it whatever you want but I'm definitely going to be working hard to get back as soon as possible."

"It's tough to say with injuries, especially for myself, this is the first time I've dealt with a groin injury. Just when I thought I was ready to get back into it, my groin was telling me something else. It's learn as you go here and I'll take it a bit slower this time around and when I do get back on the ice that there's not going to be a point where I have to stay off. If I get on, I want it to stay that way."

Luongo will continue with off-ice workouts until he feels 100% before trying on-ice practices again but there is not set timeline for his return.


Sami Salo skated in this morning's optional at GM Place along with Mike Brown, Lawrence Nycholat, Cory Schneider, and Curtis Sanford.

He will miss tonight's tilt with the Florida Panthers, although he feels positive about the progress he's made towards his return.

"We made a little progress but we're not quite there yet," said Salo. "We were hoping I could play this weekend but it's not quite there yet so we need to work on it a little more."

Salo's been practicing full-out this week, hoping to test out his body to really see where he's at. With Luongo feeling discomfort during practice, Salo knows not to come back before he's ready but also has experience with rehabbing this type of injury and how to make sure he can play again.

"You have to try to push yourself to see where you're at. You can't really evaluate yourself when you're not really getting your heart rate up. You just have to try to push it and see how it holds up." Rob Davison will take Salo's place in the lineup tonight.


Cory Schneider will get the start tonight with the visiting Florida Panthers in town for the Sunday night battle. Schneider is 1-2-1 in his four starts since being recalled from the Manitoba Moose November 22.

Upon his recall last month, he was the best goaltender in the AHL, posting a 10-1-0 record and 1.37 goals against average in his first year as the Moose starter with the departure of Drew MacIntyre in the summer.

His last outing against the Colorado Avalanche saw him on the losing end of a 5-4 shootout loss, where Schneider turned away 31 shots. Making the leap to the NHL level isn't seamless and he's fully aware of that fact.

"It's a learning process and you take the downs with the ups and obviously that was a game where I could've done some things better but that's what it's all about," he said. "I don't expect to have things all figured out after three games and I can take things from that game and hopefully I won't get beat again by the same things tonight and that's just how it works."

With Luongo still week-to-week, it looks like Schneider will spend Christmas in Vancouver with the Holiday roster freeze in effect December 19th. This gives him some time to adjust and settle into more of a pattern without worrying about where he will play next.

"It's kind of hard coming to the rink everyday not knowing whether or not you're going to be here but this way you can get into a bit of a routine, a bit of a comfort zone and accept the fact that you're here and it's up to you and I think that can be a good thing sometimes."

Luongo is the undisputed number one goalie for the Canucks but in his absence, the coaching staff alternate between Schneider and Curtis Sanford, who are doing an admirable job, despite the 3-5-1 record in Luongo's absence, with the majority of the games on a long road trip.

And while the effort is there, both know the wins need to follow in order for the club to be successful.

"I think it's up to one of us to take the ball here," said Sanford, who is 3-3-0 since stepping in on November 22. "One of us has to get on a roll and keep this team in the win column and until the coaching staff sees that, it might be back and forth here."

"Hopefully [Luongo] will get better as soon as he can because obviously he's a big part of this team but for now, it's up to Curtis and me to get wins for this team," Schneider said. "I think all the guys are behind us and it's just a matter of executing."

The Canucks face a Panthers team battling through a list of injuries of their own and are without Richard Zednik, Nathan Horton, David Booth, Rostislav Olesz, Bryan Allen, and Cory Murphy, who are all currently listed on the injured reserve. They welcome Cory Stillman back into the lineup tonight, who missed the past 15 games after suffering a concussion.

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