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Canucks Report - Schneider earns top honours

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks


The Manitoba Moose, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, are pleased to announce goaltender Cory Schneider has been named the winner of the 2009 Aldedge “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender, as voted by coaches, players, and members of the media in each of the league’s 29 cities.

Schneider, 23, has appeared in 39 games so far this season for the Moose where he has compiled a 28-9-1 record. The Marblehead, MA native has established two franchise records this season with the longest winning streak for a goaltender (10 games) and the most wins in a single season by any Moose netminder (28 games). He has allowed three or fewer goals in 356 of his 39 appearances.

He is currently the top-ranked goalie in the AHL with a 1.99 GAA and a .929 SV% along with five shutouts this campaign. Schneider is on pace to also break the team records for goals against average (2.17, Drew MacIntyre '06-07), save percentage (.922, MacIntyre '06-07), and shutouts (6 - Wade Flaherty '05-06). Last week, Schneider was named to the AHL’s First All-Star Team.

In his two seasons with the Moose, Schneider has registered a 49-21-3 record, eight shutouts and was the winning goaltender in the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic. Schneider made his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks this season Nov. 29/08 at Calgary, and has since registered a 3.38 GAA and .877 save percentage in eight appearances with Manitoba’s parent club. This season, Schneider was named the Reebok X-Pulse /AHL Goaltender of the Month for November and was selected the RBK/AHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 29th.

The Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1984, honors former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Baz Bastien, who played four seasons in goal with the AHL's Pittsburgh Hornets (1945-49) before suffering a career-ending eye injury. Bastien would go on to serve as head coach and general manager of the Hornets, leading them to the 1967 Calder Cup championship. Previous winners of the award include Jon Casey (1985, Felix Potvin (1992), Manny Legace (1996), Martin Biron (1999), Dwayne Roloson (2001), Jason LaBarbera (2004, 2007), Ryan Miller (2005), Dany Sabourin (2006) and Michael Leighton (2008).


The Canucks (43-27-10) take on the L.A. Kings (33-36-11) tonight at GM Place, their last home game of the regular season.

Vancouver kept their home-ice advantage hopes alive, defeating Calgary 4-1 on Tuesday. The division rivals both have two games remaining and are currently tied with 96 points.

The players admit they’d love to take the Northwest division title, but their are more concerned with fixing any flaws in their game heading into playoffs next week. The Canucks' main focus tonight will be on their defensive game, a staple of their success in the past.

“Slot coverage, very specific,” said assistant coach Rick Bowness. “It starts with poor reads coming into the zone. We’re not starting and stopping coming in the slot, and we’re coming in swinging away and drifting, assuming we’re going to get it or hoping we’re going to get it and all of sudden we’re out of position when we don’t get it.

“We’ve got to do a much better job of making those reads, coming into the slot, stopping it and working from there."

The Kings are sitting 13th in the West with 77 points and are playing their last games of the year after a disappointing season that will not see them into the playoffs.

“At this stage, the way we’re playing we have to focus on what we’re doing well and what we have to do a lot better," said Bowness. "So the majority of our meeting tonight is focused on us talking about those areas and cleaning up some things regardless of who the opponent is.

"It doesn’t matter who we’re playing right now the way we’re playing defensively. So we have to take care of our house first, our business first and that’s what we’ll be addressing tonight. We have a ton of respect for the Kings, but more importantly to us regardless of who we play is how we play."

The Canucks held an optional team skate this morning, attended by eight players. D-men Willie Mitchell and Kevin Bieksa skated after missing yesterday’s practice at UBC. Captain Roberto Luongo joined them along with Jason LaBarbera, Darcy Hordichuk, Ossi Vaananen, Jannik Hansen and Rob Davison.

There are no expected changes to the lineup. Defencemen Vaananen and Davison, and forward Hansen will be healthy scratches. Luongo, who turned away a season high of 46 shots in regulation during the win over Calgary on Tuesday will start in net. The second line of Mats Sundin, Pavol Demitra and Ryan Kesler will likely be reunited tonight.

Tonight’s game faces off at 7:00pm PST and can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific.

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