SCHNEIDER PUTS IN EXTRA TIME
Today is a day off for the Canucks before they fly to Edmonton and practice at Rexall Place on Friday. The team definitely earned some time off at home after playing 18 of 29 games on the road so far this season.
While most players enjoyed a relaxing day, catching up with friends and family, rookie goalie Cory Schneider
showed up at GM Place and put in time with Canucks goaltending consultant Ian Clark.
Schneider, the 22 year old starting netminder for the AHL's Manitoba Moose, laced up his skates and spent an hour on the ice, running goalie drills with Clark. Determined to adjust to NHL-level play, Schneider who has earned a respectable 1-2-1 record since being recalled by the Canucks, worked diligently on his technique and positioning.
Injured captain Roberto Luongo
stopped in to talk with Clark near the end of the session, although he didn't take to the ice.
Check out the photos below from Schneider's one-on-one practice with Clark. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image.
Wednesday the Canucks held a 3-on-3 tournament for practice. Luongo dressed and participated in the warm up, staying for the first 20 minutes before leaving, while the other players continued on for a full hour. Luongo, who continues rehab for his groin injury, is expected to practice with the team Friday in Edmonton, but is unlikely to start in either game this weekend.
Although many reporters began speculating that Luongo may have re-injured his groin or experienced a setback causing him to leave practice early, head coach Alain Vigneault insisted that to the best of his knowledge Luongo is continuing to progress on his own rehab schedule.
Since losing Luongo on November 22nd in Pittsburgh, the Canucks have gone 4-4-1 with Curtis Sanford and Schneider shouldering the goaltending duties. Sanford will likely get the nod to start on Saturday against Edmonton.
Vancouver is sitting at the top of the Northwest Division, two points up on Calgary, and third in the Western Conference behind San Jose and Detroit. The Oilers are last in the close Northwest race, seven points behind the Canucks.