By Derek Jory
The Vancouver Canucks will continue to Ride the Schneid tonight against the Minnesota Wild as Cory Schneider will make his second consecutive start in for the Canucks.
Surprisingly that wasn’t the biggest news out of the team’s fully attended morning skate Monday as coach Alain Vigneault will again shuffle his lines leaving Mason Raymond and Sami Salo as healthy scratches.
For Salo, coach recognized that the 37-year-old is Vancouver’s best overall defenceman in terms of contributions at both ends of the ice and that he’s also the team’s elder statesman.
The pair discussed working in some games off for Salo down the stretch and Vigneault is keeping to his word.
As far as Raymond goes, Vigneault is hoping a game watched instead of played will help the forward get his groove back.
“In Mason’s case, obviously he’s struggling a bit right now,” said coach. “We’ve tried different possibilities with him and he can be such a valuable player on our team when he’s playing a skill game and being strong on the ice and using that skill and that speed, but right now we’re having a tough time helping him find the players he can have the most success with.”
Manny Malhotra will factor back into the line-up after missing Vancouver’s last two games for personal reasons.
One look at Malhotra taking faceoffs during the morning skate made it clear he’s hungry like the wolf to get back on the ice.
“It’s exciting coming to the rink and getting to play games, so nothing changes, the prep stays the same and I’m looking forward to getting back to action,” said Malhotra, adding he wants to get his mojo going before the playoffs begin.
“That’s the focus for everybody, honing our game, honing our team game and then making sure that it’s second nature when it gets back into when it really counts.”
Coach Vigneault didn’t say what his lines will look like come game time, but he admittedly is giving some thought to Alex Burrows skating with Daniel and Henrik Sedin again.
In terms of why Schneider is getting the nod ahead of Roberto Luongo, Vigneault said it’s simple, he thinks it’s the right thing to do.